Сообщение 06 окт 2019, 05:05

The Detroit Lions have invested a lot in tight ends

ALLEN PARK Julian Love Jersey , Mich. (AP) — desperately hoping to turn a weakness into a strength.Detroit drafted Iowa star T.J. Hockenson early in the first round of the NFL draft in April a month after signing veteran Jesse James .“We did a great job this offseason, getting the pieces that we thought we were missing,” Lions tight end Michael Roberts said.Roberts was referring to the entire team, but improving the options at his position was clearly a point of emphasis for the front office one year after it appeared to make a mistake.The Lions let Eric Ebron go before the 2018 season and failed to effectively replace him, leading to one of the factors that slowed down Matthew Stafford and the offense. Ebron , meanwhile, flourished with the Indianapolis Colts.Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, Hakeem Valles and Roberts combined to make just 45 catches last season. Only the Miami Dolphins had fewer receptions from tight ends in the NFL last season.Toilolo, Willson and Valles didn’t return to play in Detroit, and Roberts’ job appears to be in jeopardy.“It’s just competition,” Roberts said. “It’s no secret we haven’t had the best couple of years at the tight end position. I’m hoping we’re one of the best tight end corps in the league.”Hockenson and James will likely play a lot Darius Slayton Jersey , giving Stafford a pair of solid targets at tight end to go along with receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Hockenson was a second-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten player last season. He led Iowa with 760 yards receiving and was second on the team with 49 receptions and six touchdowns.Hockenson is the first tight end taken No. 8 or higher since San Francisco selected Vernon Davis sixth overall in 2006.“I’m not putting any (pressure) on myself and no one is putting any on me,” he said.James had 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.Roberts may be vying for one spot on the team with Logan Thomas, Jerome Cunningham and Isaac Nauta.“It’s a very competitive group,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said Wednesday before the second of three minicamp practices.Thomas said there’s a good mix of players at the position.“Some guys have played a lot of football and some guys that are new to the league,” said Thomas, who had 19 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown over the past two years with the Bills.“We got a bunch of guys that want it, they’re hungry and they want to have success. As a coach, I think that’s what you ask for out of your guys. And as a player, that’s what you want from the player beside you.” ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — A better start is on everyone’s mind in Detroit.The Lions open the season at Arizona T.J. Hockenson Jersey , hoping to perform far better than they did last year when the New York Jets won big in Matt Patricia’s debut as head coach. The roster and coaching staff have been tweaked in an effort to improve on the 6-10 record from 2018.“The first game of the season is always really difficult just in general because you’re not really sure what teams have worked on through the spring,” Patricia said Monday. “And I would say the first month of the season (is difficult), especially as you play teams that have changed (with) turnover in the roster and coaching staff.”Detroit’s defense, which enters its second season under coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, faces the challenge of the unknown with Arizona’s new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. The core of the Lions’ defense returns, with a few new pieces, including defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Tre Flowers.“I think we’re much more familiar with what the system is, fitting pieces, trying to get the right guys on the bus and getting them in the right seat, so to speak,” Pasqualoni said Monday. “I think that’s a process.”He expects a no-huddle, wide-open, up-tempo spread from the Cardinals‘ offense.“It stretches you this way horizontally http://www.lionscheapstore.com/jahlani-tavai-jersey-cheap ,” he said, holding holds his arms out wide, “and they stretch you vertically based on the speed of what they have, in Kyler Murray’s ability to throw the ball; he can throw the ball deep.”Versatile Arizona running back David Johnson adds another twist.“You put too many resources into the pass and the run hurts you. You put too many resources into the run and the pass hurts you,” Pasqualoni said.New coordinator Darrell Bevell has changed the Lions’ offense, which could hold a few surprises for the Cardinals.Bevell will depend heavily on the run, with Kerryon Johnson leading the way. Quarterback Matthew Stafford, entering his 11th season, needs to understand the ins and outs of the new offensive philosophy.“We’re looking for Matthew to be able to run the show, just be able to be the master of the offense, get us all into good situations, keep us out of bad situations, and make smart decisions Will Harris Jersey ,” Bevell said.Protecting Stafford will be key.“That’s a good front obviously, with the two rushers they have on the edge. That’s the first thing that jumps out at you with Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs, that’s where it starts,” Bevell said. “That tells you they want to be able to get after the passer, they’re going to be always in the game when they’re in their base defense, but also when they’re in the nickel defense with those two edge rushers.”The Lions’ reworked offense features three new tight ends, including first-round pick T.J. Hockenson. Bevell said that position is a clear upgrade from last season.“The cool thing about (Hockenson) is he’s kind of come in and it hasn’t been too big for him,” Bevell said. “He hasn’t been that wide-eyed rookie, he’s taken it all in stride.”NOTES: No updates were given on starting middle linebacker Jarrad Davis and center Frank Ragnow, who were injured in the preseason. The Lions will issue their first injury report after Wednesday’s practice. . Rookie DE Austin Bryant was placed on injured reserve Monday and tight end Logan Thomas was re-signed to the 53-man roster. Bryant, who was injured in training camp, will be eligible to contribute in Week 9 if reactivated. Thomas was released on Sunday to make room on the 53-man roster to sign free agent running back J.D. McKissic.