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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

Articles tagged: Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions respond to snub on primetime games

Jared Goff in a hat

Aug 21, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) smiles on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL officially released their 2022 regular-season schedule earlier this week and that included a full list of primetime games. But for the Detroit Lions, they couldn’t help but to notice they weren’t booked for any.

13 different teams were given five primetime games each and another four teams were given four. The Lions were the only team without a single primetime game.

That tweet, as expected, generated a lot of mixed reactions. Lions fans found it amusing while others across the league poked fun at the team.

Although the Lions will not appear on Thursday Night Football or Monday Night Football this season, they will get one national game. Detroit will host the Buffalo Bills for the first Thanksgiving Day game of the year, which Americans will very much be tuned into.

And hey, if the Lions somehow come out firing and shock the league, they could still be flexed into a primetime game later in the season.

Lions respond on Twitter to NFL scheduling snub

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions have been one of the worst franchises in sports for the better part of two decades. The NFL expects their struggles to continue, which was evident with the release of the full 2022 season schedule on Thursday. And the Lions took note.

The Lions are the only team in the NFL without a single primetime game on their schedule. When PFF’s Ari Meirov pointed that out, the person running the team’s official Twitter account responded with an emoji.

Will that be enough to motivate Dan Campbell’s team? Time will tell.

The Lions went 3-13-1 in Campbell’s first season last year. They have one of the easier schedules in the NFL for 2022 based on the combined 2021 record of their opponents. Detroit will certainly be expected to improve upon its 3-win total. If they can do that, perhaps the NFL’s schedulers will show them more respect next year.

Lions RB has strong response to ‘Hard Knocks’ question

Jamaal Williams at a press conference

NFL fans may enjoy “Hard Knocks” every offseason, but players and coaches who have to take part in the HBO series typically find it to be a nuisance. The show will follow the Detroit Lions this year, and Jamaal Williams is expected to be one of the stars. He certainly does not see it that way.

Williams is a funny guy with a big personality. The running back should provide some great TV moments, but he bluntly told reporters on Wednesday that he is not giving “Hard Knocks” any thought.

In the past, coaches and players have not even tried to hide their displeasure with being featured on “Hard Knocks.” There is enough to worry about when preparing for an NFL season. Having HBO cameras following your every move is a distraction, which is why the NFL has to force teams to do it.

Knowing Williams, he will probably still provide some great moments for HBO.

Report: Lions annoyed NFL with 1 draft move

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

Tensions can run high during the NFL Draft. The stakes are high and the timeline is tight, which can lead to teams sometimes being at odds with each other.

You do not often hear about a team annoying the NFL itself, but that is apparently what the Detroit Lions managed to do during the first round on Thursday. The Lions were so eager to select Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson second overall that they turned in the pick to the league within one minute of the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Travon Walker first.

“We turned the card in so fast the league got mad at us,” a Lions official told Peter King of Football Morning in America.

Why would the NFL care so much? The draft is very television-oriented. Broadcasters want time to discuss and analyze each pick, especially in the first round. They cannot do that if teams are essentially disregarding the ten-minute clock and getting their picks in immediately. That’s especially true high up in the first round, as TV coverage would have been eager to discuss Walker to the Jaguars in depth.

The NFL doesn’t like it when things drag out too long, either. There’s a sweet spot, and the Lions did not hit it with their first pick. They almost certainly don’t care that they didn’t, either.

Report: 49ers turned down Deebo Samuel trade offers from 2 teams

Deebo Samuel warms up before a game

Sep 26, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said this week that he does not want to part ways with Deebo Samuel, and he proved during the first round of the NFL Draft that the remarks were more than just posturing.

Samuel was not traded on Thursday night. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said during a Friday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that the 49ers had respectable offers from at least two teams — the New York Jets and Detroit Lions. The Jets were willing to include the No. 10 overall pick in the deal.

“The 49ers just wouldn’t engage,” Rapoport said. “I think everybody was waiting like, ‘Alright, obviously they’re just gonna do this deal,’ and they just didn’t. So now, he’s not happy. When’s he gonna show up? I don’t know. I think they’re gonna try to make this better, but will they?”

The Lions were clearly willing to be aggressive to land a wide receiver. Once San Francisco turned them down, they traded pick Nos. 32, 34 and 66 to the Minnesota Vikings for pick Nos. 12 and 46. They then selected former Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams 12th overall after moving way up the board.

Samuel has made it known that he wants out of San Francisco. It is unclear what steps he might take if the 49ers continue to ignore the request, but there is some optimism that the two sides can work things out.

Lions considering specific QB with No. 2 overall pick?

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions have two picks in the first round of this year’s draft, and they are at least exploring the idea of selecting a quarterback with one of them. If they go that route, they may already have a specific player in mind.

Most draft analysts have predicted the Lions will take a pass rusher at No. 2 overall. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “SportsCenter” this week that Detroit has interest in former Liberty star Malik Willis.

“I asked around and I’m told they’re still figuring that out and have not solidified what they’re going to do,” Fowler said. “They’re looking at about 6-8 different players. I believe Malik Willis is not totally off the table here, because they’ve worked at getting him in the building for a late pre-draft visit. They did a lot of homework on him at the Senior Bowl.”

Fowler added that most evaluators believe Willis would be a “reach” at second overall, and Detroit may feel the same way. Should the Lions decide they want him, they could explore the possibility of trading back.

The Lions also hosted Kenny Pickett for a somewhat surprising visit this week. They still have Jared Goff as their starting quarterback, but they are clearly keeping their options open.

Willis is viewed as having tremendous upside. He received rave reviews at the NFL Combine and seems like a lock to go in the first round, though it is tough to get a read on which quarterbacks will be selected ahead of him.

Dan Campbell reportedly not a fan of 1 potential Lions draft pick

Dan Campbell on the field

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions are big on organizational culture under coach Dan Campbell, and that may be bad news for one top NFL Draft prospect.

The Lions are unlikely to be a fit for Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB. Thibodeaux is not seen as a culture fit in Detroit, and one source said Campbell is “not a fan” of the defensive lineman.

The Lions are not the only team with concerns about Thibodeaux. Some rumors have had him slipping out of the top five of the draft. That would be quite the fall for someone who came into the 2021 season as a potential first overall selection.

Thibodeaux, for his part, has been dismissive of the naysayers. Unfortunately for him, he reportedly has failed to convince the Lions, which may see him fall down the draft board.

Ex-Lions coach had big compliment for Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell in his Lions hat

During a very tumultuous 2021 season, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell stripped play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. Then, in January, the Lions fired Lynn with Campbell saying it “wasn’t a good fit.”

Despite that unceremonious end following a stressful season, Lynn holds no grudges. In fact, the newly hired San Francisco 49ers assistant head coach had nothing but good things to say about Campbell and the foundation he’s laid in Detroit.

“Great leadership. I can tell you that,” Lynn told WoodwardSports.com. “Dan Campbell did a hell of a job creating a culture. I know the record didn’t show it, but the foundation is being laid for future success right in Detroit.

“It was outstanding leadership. Those young men showed up every single day to work and get better. But I feel like they got better as the year went on. We had a long ways to go but I feel like we made some improvements.”

That’s a classy statement from Lynn and something Lions fan should take solace in. They might actually be headed in the right direction, but now Campbell has to start stacking wins.

Photo: Photo: Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Calvin Johnson appears to have buried hatchet with Lions

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson and his former team, the Detroit Lions, finally appear to be on good terms again.

The retired wide receiver took to Twitter on Wednesday to proudly share that he had returned to Ford Field.

“Back in the Lions Den,” Johnson wrote. “#Megatron #Lions #Detroit”

Johnson, now 36, was one of the greatest players in Lions history. In just nine seasons with the team, he racked up six Pro Bowl appearances and four All-Pro selections. Johnson also led the league in receptions once, receiving touchdowns once, and receiving yards twice (including an NFL-record 1,964 receiving yards in 2012, a mark that still stands today).

But Johnson surprisingly decided to retire at the age of 30 in 2016, sparking a feud with the Lions. The team forced him to pay back a part of his signing bonus after his retirement. They also refused to relinquish Johnson’s rights, making it so Johnson could not play for another team if he ever unretired. Johnson responded with a number of public criticisms of the organization over the years, including making some unsavory revelations about them.

Johnson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame just a few months ago, and the signs of bad blood with the Lions were still evident at the time. Though Johnson had already been back to Ford Field since his retirement, this kind of public acknowledgement of the Lions certainly makes it seem like tensions have now cooled a bit.

Photo: Dec 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions reportedly leaning towards 1 particular player with top overall pick

Dan Campbell in his Lions hat

The 1-11-1 Detroit Lions are the favorites to land the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, and they may already know how they want to use it.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported on Wednesday that the Lions’ “current mindset” is to select Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux with the top overall pick if they get it.

The 6-foot-5 junior Thibodeaux was selected as a unanimous First-team All-American this season. He has anchored a strong Ducks defense, leading the team with 7.0 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss.

The Lions are in need at every position, so they should probably just go with the best player available. But the draft is not for another four-plus months, which gives Detroit plenty of time to change their mind. If they do cool on Thibodeaux, another top prospect recently showed interest in being a Lion.

Photo: Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field before action against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2021, at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK