I talked to Sean Yuille from Pride Of Detroit to find out what's going on with the 2015 Detroit Lions. Big thanks to Sean and be sure to check out my answers to his questions over at POD in the next day or two.
1. Your team is pretty damn stacked at TE and we just happen to be in need right now. Who out of the six are probably getting cut and who's the best out of them? Perhaps Joseph Fauria? They may just be Redskins before you know it...
"Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew are clearly the top two tight ends. The Lions are hoping that Ebron will become the Lions' third option in the passing game, and Pettigrew is considered to be an asset as a blocker more than anything. Fauria figures to be the third tight end, but that's assuming he can stay healthy. Injuries have really derailed the last year or so of his career, and he needs to stay healthy to find a place in this offense."
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"Unless the Lions surprisingly trade away Fauria, the top three is pretty much set at tight end, leaving Jordan Thompson, Casey Pierce and Jacob Maxwell fighting for a spot on the practice squad."
2. Tell us about Ameer Abdullah. Is this guy for real? What's the RB situation going to look like for you guys this season with he, Joique Bell, and Theo Riddick on board?
"We have a very small sample size to go on, and even then, it was a preseason game against the Jets, but Abdullah certainly looks to be for real. He's got great moves for a running back and will hopefully step into the role the Lions originally envisioned for Reggie Bush as someone who can make big plays both as a runner and a receiver."
"Right now, it's probably a safe bet that Abdullah and Bell will see a fairly equal number of touches, at least at the start of the season. Bell needs to get off the PUP list first, but they will each get a lot of playing time in the regular season. Riddick should also factor into the offensive game plan, although he will likely get more work in the passing game than anything."
3. How have Laken Tomlinson and Kyle Van Noy looked so far this off-season? A lot of Redskins fans were really interested in those guys prior to their respective drafts and really wanted them to end up as Redskins. Also, has Taylor Mays been any good? Will he make the team?
"Tomlinson is coming along pretty well so far. He's still splitting reps at left guard with Manny Ramirez, but the expectation continues to be for Tomlinson to start when the regular season arrives."
"Van Noy has been steadily improving after basically all of his rookie season was lost to a sports hernia. He doesn't figure to start, but he should be one of the first linebackers off the bench in certain packages."
"As for Mays, he is what he is at this point: an athletic safety who contributes very little in pass coverage. I would be pretty shocked if he makes the 53-man roster."
4. How long should we expect to see the starters on Thursday? Stafford and Tate looked pretty good the other night against NYJ and it's interesting to wonder how much preseason time guys like them need.
"The starters will probably get a quarter's worth of action on Thursday. I honestly don't think guys like Stafford, Tate and some of the other veteran starters need any real playing time in the preseason, which is why guys like Calvin Johnson and Rashean Mathis didn't even play last week. It's possible Johnson and Mathis will be given the night off again this week, but everybody else who is healthy will at least get 2-3 series in all likelihood."
5. Who are some unknown guys for the Lions that 'Skins fans should keep an eye on late in the game Thursday night?
"On offense, keep an eye on running back Zach Zenner. He racked up more than 6,500 rushing yards in college at South Dakota State, and he looked pretty impressive in last week's preseason opener. He's battling George Winn for the final spot at running back, and Winn essentially earned a spot on the 53-man roster last year with his work on special teams. Zenner will likely need to show he can perform as a coverage specialist in order to bolster his case for making the team."
"On defense, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo has turned a lot of heads during training camp so far. The tough part for him is he's currently in line to be the fifth defensive tackle, but there is likely only room for four DTs on the 53-man roster. He will have to hope that the Lions opt to keep one fewer defensive end in order to play his way onto the roster."