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Tag:Dominic Raiola
Posted on: April 8, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Detroit Lions

Posted by Andy Benoit

C. Johnson (US Presswire)


Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



If we’re to stick strictly to the metaphor here, a team that always finishes in ICU was at least hobbling around one of the more respectable rehabilitation wards when the 2010 season ended.

The Lions went 6-10, ranking 15th in points scored and 19th in points allowed (the 15th scoring offense ranking was partly due to a penchant for fun but unfulfilling garbage time comebacks). It’d be interesting to find out if the Lions brass would have been willing to trade the 6-10 finish for a 4-12 finish if had meant Matthew Stafford getting a chance to develop. This team likely would have been better than 6-10 had Stafford not missed 13 games with shoulder problems. But the point is, his development is crucial to the franchise’s long-term growth, and he didn’t develop while on the sidelines.

At least rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh developed. He went from “monster” early in the year to “mega monster” late. Suh headlined a revamped defensive line, which headlined a defense that still sorely needed revamping at the linebacker and secondary levels.

 

An unsung hero

How did this story slip through the cracks in 2010? Pettigrew, a first-round draft choice out of Oklahoma State in ’09, was operating at full strength on the field just nine months after tearing his ACL. In his return, the 265-pounder was an even quicker, more fluid runner than before.

Pettigrew’s newfound receiving prowess gave the offense an underneath dimension that was crucial in capitalizing on defenses rolling coverage over the top against Calvin Johnson. Augmenting this was Pettigrew’s ability to snag balls on the move.

Pettigrew’s newfound receiving prowess gave the offense an underneath dimension that was crucial in capitalizing on defenses rolling coverage over the top against Calvin Johnson. Augmenting this was Pettigrew’s ability to snag balls on the move.



1.Cornerback
Having a zone-based playmaker like an Asante Samuel would do wonders for Gunther Cunningham’s secondary. Last year’s corners were too focused on fundamentals to even listen to whatever instincts they may have had. It’s questionable whether Chris Houston is wanted back, and it should be questionable whether Alphonso Smith deserves to be welcomed back (at least to the starting lineup). Nate Vasher has experience in a Cover 2 scheme, but a few decent games down the stretch in Detroit don’t override his last few disastrous years in Chicago.

2. Outside Linebacker
You actually have to have a strong side to your game in order to be a starting strongside linebacker in the NFL. Which is why finesse-based journeyman Bobbie Carpenter is not the answer. Last year’s strongside ‘backer, Zack Follett, is penciled in as the replacement for gargantuan disappointment Julian Peterson on the weak side. Follett, however, doesn’t begin to have the necessary athleticism to play this position.

3. Interior Offensive Linemen
Center Dominic Raiola’s lack of power has become too much of an issue. An upgrade there could help keep thoroughly average guards Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman afloat.



The Lions could very well become the trendy pick of 2010. A lot of the hype will depend on how people feel about Stafford.

If he’s sharp, the Lions might be able to mask their middling offensive line. In that case, it would come down to how much the young secondary improves. If it’s lofty goals you like, 9-7 wouldn’t be an unfairly high bar for this club.

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Posted on: December 29, 2010 7:05 pm
 

Dominic Raiola accepts fine but protests hecklers

Posted by Andy Benoit

Lions center Dominic Raiola was fined $15,000 for shoutD. Raiola (US Presswire)ing an obscene sentence at a Dolphins fan while leaving the field this past Sunday. If you don’t already know, the first two words in the sentence were “suck” and “my” – in that order. (If you’re inclined to see, and hear, the incident, click here.)

Raiola, a 10-year veteran and team captain who admittedly has trouble controlling his fiery emotions at times, said on Wednesday that it was not a good way to conduct himself.

“I got too fired up. I got fined. I’ve got to move on and make better decisions next time. Do I regret it? I like to say I live my life without regrets.”

Raiola also said, according to John Kreger, CBSSports.com’s Lions Rapid Reporter, that a player’s high salaries doesn’t mean he should have to endure verbal abuse from fans.

“Let me come to your work and (heckle) you (abusively),” Raiola said. “I don’t think anyone should have to put up with (abuse) whether you’re on the field or not.”

Obviously, we don’t know what this particular fan had said to Raiola. But we can all agree that NFL players, and athletes in general, take far more verbal abuse from fans than what they dish out. Does that, in some indirect way, make it part of the job?

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Category: NFL
Posted on: December 19, 2010 11:05 pm
 

Detroit breaks nasty streak

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

How much has your life changed in the past three years? Maybe you were a freshman in high school back then, and now, you’re a senior preparing for college. Maybe you were single back then, and now, you’ve got a wife and a kid. Maybe you couldn’t vote back then, and now, you can legally drink a beer while watching football.

You know what hadn’t happened since Oct. 28, 2007? The Lions winning a road game.

Until today.

When Dave Rayner kicked the game-winning 34-yard field in overtime to give Detroit a 23-20 win against Buccaneers, he helped end an NFL record 26-game road losing streak that was, at the same time, embarrassing and awfully impressive.

For a guy like Detroit T Jeff Backus – who’s been with the Lions since 2001 – a victory like this is simply awesome.

"When that streak's talked about, a lot of these players and coaches, they don't know what you're talking about," Backus said, via the Detroit News. "They haven't been a part of it. But Dom(inic Raiola) and I and some of the other guys have been here the whole time and it's nice to get that monkey off our back and hopefully that's the last streak that we have and we can start some positive ones and get this thing turned around.

"This was the first step toward getting this going in the right direction."

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Posted on: August 3, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 6:55 pm
 

Lions aren't happy without Suh

He’s only been an official rookie hold-out a few days, but Lions DT Ndamukong Suh is already annoying at least one of his teammates.

"I haven't even sent him a text or anything, but I'd like to tell him, 'Just sign the damn contract already. You are missing some good things here,'" center Dominic Raiola told the Detroit News after Suh missed his fourth day and sixth practice.

But what about … you know … all the money there is to be made?

"I understand the business side of it, but when you are talking $40 million, $42 million, $43 million, I don't know what the big difference is," Raiola said. "Any way you cut it, after taxes, that's $20 million. So you've got to get that name signed and get out here."

UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Suh and the Lions have agreed on a five-year deal.

UPDATE II: Jay Glazer reports that Suh's deal is worth $60-68 million, with $40 million guaranteed. Suh wanted more guaranteed money than Matthew Stafford got. He fell $1.7 million short of that.

--Josh Katzowitz

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com