Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Verba --out

All signs point to Lions drafting Wisconsin lineman ...

Allen Park, Mich.- The Detroit Lions announced today that they have released G Ross Verba.

Verba (6-4, 305) came to Detroit having spent four seasons with Cleveland (2001-04) and his first four NFL seasons with Green Bay (1997-2000). Verba did not play football in 2005 after leaving the Browns June 9. In his lone season with the Lions, he played and started seven games and was inactive for eight games with hamstring and groin injuries. Verba was drafted by the Packers in the first round (30th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft.

As a rookie with the Packers in 1997, Verba played in all 16 games (11 starts) and took over as the starting left tackle (due to injuries) in the sixth game. He also started all three playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXII, when he became the first rookie ever to start at left tackle in the Super Bowl. Verba received all-rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers of America, Pro Football Weekly and Football News.

At the University of Iowa, Verba was a four-year starter (1993-96), starting 35 career games for the Hawkeyes after moving from tight end to offensive tackle prior to the start of the 1993 season. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior when he started 12 games at left tackle.

Verba was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and played high school football at Dowling H.S. (West Des Moines, Iowa). As a senior, he was selected as Iowa's Player of the Year by Parade and earned all-state and all-conference honors while serving as a team captain. Verba was also named the team MVP.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lions re-sign Saipaia

Obviously Mike Martz had some influence in this signing:
Allen Park, Mich. - The Detroit Lions announced today that they have re-signed G Blaine Saipaia to a two-year deal. Additional contract terms were not disclosed.

Saipaia (6-3, 315) joined the Lions during the 2006 season (Sept. 26), playing in six games with four starts. He made his first start for Detroit vs. Buffalo (10/15) and helped the offensive line pave the way for RB Kevin Jones' first 100-yard game of the season (127 yards). Saipaia was placed on the reserve/injured list December 12 after re-aggravating a chest injury against Minnesota (12/10).

Before coming to Detroit, Saipaia spent the 2006 preseason with the St. Louis Rams where he had played the previous two seasons (2004-05). He played in nine games for the Rams in 2005 and started three (two at RT, one at TE). Saipaia entered the NFL in 2000, finishing that season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Look Ma, No Hands!

D line coach Joe Cullen avoided jail time this week but will have to pay a fine and do community service hours for his after hours nude driving stunt. Here's the freep's article

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More picks to choose from

Sam Farmer in Saturday's LA Times lists 15 intriguing picks for the Lions to shoot for on Draft Day. While OT Joe Thomas is there near the top, and gets high praise, Brady Quinn has dropped from the elite core of available picks and is starting to look more and more like Matt Leinart with each passing day.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kiper's top 10 draft prospects from ESPN

Over at, they've posted Mel Kiper Jr.'s top 25 pro prospects in advance of the NFL combine. Here's the top 10. Expect one of these men to be a Lion next season. The experts are leaning more and more toward Joe Thomas a lineman from Wisconsin.

1. Calvin Johnson*, WR, Georgia Tech (6-4, 225)
2. Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin (6-6½, 313)
3. Adrian Peterson*, RB, Oklahoma (6-1½, 218) |
4. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame (6-3½, 225)
5. JaMarcus Russell*, QB, LSU (6-6, 260)
6. Jamaal Anderson*, DE, Arkansas (6-5, 270)
7. Alan Branch*, DT, Michigan (6-5½, 328)
8. Ted Ginn Jr.*, WR, Ohio State (5-11, 175)
9. Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville (6-1½, 298)
10. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson (6-4½, 260) |
Take a look at the list and Kiper's comments here.

Apparently those in the know are insisting that the Lions won't take a QB with their pick, but are going for muscle on one side of the line or the other. Doing that will leave a big question mark at QB going into 2007 and probably limit's the Lion's ability to advance much beyond their dismal 2006 season.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Former Lion Charlie Sanders gets HOF ticket


Former Lions tight end Charlie Sanders has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2007. The following is a transcript of Sanders' comments from the Hall of Fame Press Conference in Miami.

For information on Sanders' Hall of Fame career, click here.

Opening statement:
"Thank you to the Senior Committee. You guys have been tremendous. I really thank you for all of your support. The Ford (family), the Detroit Lions organization, (they) have been tremendous. There are very few people that can stand here in this position I'm in today and say that they've spent half of their life with the same organization and then be presented with such a great honor. That's what the Ford (family) and that's what the Detroit Lions organization means to me. I would like to express my tremendous thanks to the Ford family and the Detroit Lions organization. To the fans of Detroit, the greatest fans – in my opinion – in the NFL. We're not there yet, but we'll get there and just as you've supported me through all my years, my family, I know that you're going to continue to support the Detroit Lions.

"It's been a journey. The last few days have been very nerve-racking. Not only for me, but for my family and I know for a lot of my friends – especially being in the business that involves the NFL. There are a lot of supporters that are close to the game, so you kind of carry that extra burden of hopefully not disappointing them. God knows this is a blessing, not only for me, but for my family (and) the city. I want to again thank everybody that had anything to do with me standing here today and to those who were not as fortunate as me, by no means does it have any implication on your ability or your desire to go out and compete in the greatest sport in the world. To you I say: hang in there. To you I say: be patient. To you I say: I'm pulling and I'm hoping for you. Again, thank you all."