Morning view

>> 8.04.2009

I've decided to continue with the Three Cups Deep-style quick hits throughout training camp; there's so much info coming out now that I've gotta hustle to skim off the cream of the crop and dollop it in your morning joe.  Monday’s practice sessions didn’t see a lot of new storylines break; rather, we saw a lot of the same storylines develop:

  • DT Landon Cohen continued to impress.  According to Tom Kowalski over at, Cohen followed up his jaw-dropping 50-rep performance in the bench press this weekend by making play after play on Monday.  Some folks are already calling him “Cohen the Barbarian”, which I find hilarious—those doing so are likely unaware of the literary allusion they make.  Cohen celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday, and as he says this is indicative of his “grown-man strength kicking in”.  I should emphasize that there are plenty of rookies drafted in April whose 23rd birthday was a lot further back in time than yesterday.  Cohen, if he can continue to develop like this, could be the surprise gem that saves the Lions’ defense—in a year or two.  Unfortunately, there’s no mention of who these reps came against—and if it was linemen like Damion Cook and Dylan Gandy, we can’t start toasting Cohen’s breakout just yet.  Don’t forget, recent Lions past is full of traning camp rags-to-riches stories that never panned out.  Greg Blue, “Blue” Adams, David Kircus, Scotty Anderson . . .

  • The Detroit News’ John Niyo writes that DT Sammie Hill is getting a lot of special attention from defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz.  There’s a few great quotes from Schwartz in that story about how scouting Hill reminded him of scouting Leon Lett—and frankly, thoughts about the next Big Cat in Honolulu Blue get me all hot and bothered.  Here’s another difference between Schwartz and Marinelli: instead of the defensive line coach stopping defensive line drills to work with a guy like Hill—the head coach would stop team drills to work with a guy like Hill! Okay, that might be a sight exaggeration, but still—Schwartz is excited to see Hill in practice and watch the game film afterwards; NOT spending big chunks of practice working on fine points of technique with individual players.  Schwartz is coaching the coaches, and letting the coaches coach the players—exactly as it should be.

  • Killer also wrote a nice little piece on that exact point: Schwartz spending time with both the offense and the defense—and how his coaching to “situations” and mentally tying what they’re doing on the practice field to what they do in games so wildly varies from Marinelli’s.

  • Before the first all-roster minicamp, I wrote about ‘key performance indicators”, things that fans should watch for to see if real progress is being made.  One of those was the matchup of the receivers versus the corners; since we know for a fact that Megatron is an elite wideout, how the Lions’ corners fare against him will be a great measuring stick for how they’re doing in general.  So far, the results are looking good; according to the Free Press’s Nick Cotsonika, #1 CB Phillip Buchanon has been holding his own.  Killer reports that former EMU standout Chris Roberson got some reps with the ones when Eric King and Keith Smith both took the morning off with minor injuries—and did extremely well.

As always, stay tuned both here and at my Twitter feed for the latest!


Weston Corbitt,  August 4, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

It would be really great to solve the DL situation from within. Schwartz did work with some good defensive lineman (most notably the $100 million dollar man Albert Haynesworth) and Cohen has as good of a chance as anyone to start. Fluellen, Cohen and Dizon did not play to much so it would be nice to see them play and see what we got, as we might get a starter out of them someday. Hopefully the new strength program and new defensive system can play to more players strengths and not have us give up over 100+ yards a game rushing.

Weston Corbitt,  August 4, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

Also for coffee choices I would go with Tim Horton's. Our neighbors from the north sure can brew a good cup of coffee. They also sell cans of it online. Good Stuff.

DetFan1979,  August 4, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

Don't overlook IAF. He is now playing at DT, which is a more natural position for him. He also has really bulked up. I saw him Sunday and he is not the thin lanky guy of last season -- he is more brick-wall now.

Biggby is better than Tim Horton's IMO. VERY good stuff, and you can buy the beans. It's also a Michigan company that started in East Lansing, so you are supporting our great state as well!! Besides, nothing like a hot "Twister" (Super-Mocha with Vanilla and an extra shot of espresso)

like the quick hits, but don't let it overwhelm your great in-depth pieces; quick news snaps are all over -- great analysis of them? Priceless. Loved your Stafford piece -- keep up the good work Ty!

NOTE: Don't be surprised is DT becomes less of a worry... Gill may end up on the PS this year, but could be a sleeper rotational guy in a year or two. Don't underestimate the ability of Cohen, IAF, and/or Flu to really impact the DT spot...

Weston Corbitt,  August 4, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

Biggby is nice but a little too sweet for me. Tim Horton's is good for a robust cup of "jet fuel" in the morning. There is a Biggby on campus of WMU so I frequent it in between classes. Everybody should get a shot to play DL and see how they do. It could all be different in the new system we are going to play.

Ty,  August 4, 2009 at 1:51 PM  


It's tough because part of me really, honestly believes that the switch to an Olympic lifting and conditioning program is going to turn some of our molehills into mountains. Part of me thinks that with the complete 180 in DL technique and approach, that some of these linemen are going to be better fits, better producers. Part of me also knows that some of these dudes are just not good.

You're absolutely right that it's wide open right now; for all of the DTs other than Grady Jackson on running downs, the amount of PT they'll see is entirely in their hands.

I like Tim Horton's coffee, to be sure, but if I'm making a special trip for coffee, I rarely do the drive-through thing. The coffee at work is free and plentiful; if I'm paying for it, it's usually nights and weekends and it's usually an espresso drink. Definitely good joe at Tim's, though.


Ty,  August 4, 2009 at 2:28 PM  

Oh don't think I'm sleeping on IAF; ever since I heard he was running with the ones in veteran minicamp, I've been waiting to see what happens in TC. However, outside of your TC visit recap(which, by the way, I would keep an eye on the traffic of!), I've not seen a single mention of him by anyone who's been there.

I'm an old-school Biggy guy (as in, I still call it "Beaner's"! My stepmom and dad were neighbors of one of the founders, and my best friend worked at the Grand River/Hagadorn one back in like 2000, 2001, etc. I hung out with that crew quite a bit. Now I'm a regular down at the South Cedar location.

Frankly, most Biggby franchises now are crap--staffed entirely by high school girls who have absolutely no idea how to make coffee. I once had a latte made by a Biggby "barista" who said she'd "never drink espresso, it's so gross". There are a few left, though, where the original spirit still lives--South Lansing, Allegan St., etc. If I know the person steaming the milk knows what's up, I roll with a quad tall latte. If not, I'll go with a quad tall purple haze. THAT'll put hair on your chest!


PS--thanks for the feedback on the quick hits/analysis thing. I'm surfing the overwhelming tide of information, and just trying to stay on my board . . . keep in mind, I've never blogged DURING a season before!

DetFan1979,  August 5, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

yeah -- the first season can be overwhelming; I know it was for me. You do awesome work -- keep it up!

I am also an old-school "Beaners" guy -- the one on Waverly just south of Lansing Rd is my usual pit stop, and a good one. We'll have to get together for a cup of joe some time, and talk Lions.

Weston - I usually do one or two extra shots, which brings out more of the robust flavor vs. the sweet. However, I only do the sweetened drinks once a week or so. Just too much for me (and I've to keep those triglycerides down too -- the joys of growing older!)

Grind our own at home, and black, bitter and plentiful at the office.

here's to a great season!!

Ty,  August 5, 2009 at 11:10 AM  

Thanks, man! I'm loving your stuff, too. Speaking of, I linked your TC visit on the Blue Blog; did you see much traffic from that?

I work over by the corner of St. Joe and Creyts; we should definitely do coffee some time!

At home, I got as far as buying green beans from specialty vendors online and roasting the things myself. When I realized that the "next step" involved, at minimum, a $300 grinder and a $600 espresso machine, I stepped back from the ledge a bit. I now get my beans fresh from a local roaster, and make it happen with a coarse burr grind and a french press.


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