Monday, August 3, 2015, 9:22am
They flew down to Atlanta on their own last month, one last break from vacation to get some work in before training camp started for the Detroit Lions.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson -- two of the longest-standing Lions -- organized the trip for the team's wide receivers and tight ends to all work together. The goal was to get some familiarity with each other before camp began so the offense could be as crisp as possible as fast as possible.
"It's always good when you're away for a while to get the group back together and just go through some things," receiver Lance Moore said. "Whether the physical or mental part of it, I'm not really sure which one was more important.
"I think hearing the plays and being around the quarterback and getting that communication back together is just as important as what we're doing physically on the field. We had a good group there. Everybody worked hard and hopefully it'll pay dividends for us."
The three-day workout took place at Georgia Tech, where Johnson played collegiately. The group would meet in the mornings, get a light lift in and then run routes at the Yellow Jackets' practice facility in Atlanta.
Not every team in the NFL does this, for example Lance Moore said in the story he did not do this with Drew Brees when he was in New Orleans, but a lot of teams do something similar, whether it is publicized or not. A full ledger of who attended was not available, but tight ends Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria were in attendance along with Moore, Johnson, Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller.
Sunday, July 26, 2015, 11:13am
The Lions return all five of their receivers from the end of last season — Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller and Ryan Broyles — plus add TJ Jones (back from IR) and Lance Moore (free agent) to the mix. This competition will be fierce, and someone notable is guaranteed not to have a job at the end of camp.
The numbers are there, and so is the production from the two-headed monster of Johnson and Tate. But Detroit got little out of its third receivers last season (primarily Ross) and is looking for someone to step up as a complement this season.
Moore would seem to be the favorite, as the most experienced of all the candidates for the job, both in years in the league and years in this offense. He grabbed 346 passes for 4,281 yards in eights seasons with the Saints, seven of which occurred with current Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on staff.
The Lions third WR could have some fantasy value in their passing offense. Detroit touted that experience when signing Moore, and quarterback Matthew Stafford has gone on and on about how Moore sees things in this offense that other receivers don't. Competency in the offense, and reliable route-running, were issues last year, the story said. The piece also added the staff still likes Fuller a lot, because his size and top-end speed allow him to stretch a defense the way Detroit's other No. 3 possibilities cannot. Broyles and Jones are both smaller receivers who do their best work underneath, and it's hard to see a situation where both make the team.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 8:17am
A former second-round draft pick, Broyles is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract with the Lions. The former all-time receiving leader in NCAA history, he was buried deep on the depth chart last season, getting on the field for just 34 snaps after battling back from a serious leg injury for the third consecutive year.
It's a make-or-break camp for Broyles. Last year, the Lions only viewed him as insurance for the durable Tate, but with opportunities in the slot and fielding punts, Broyles could finally emerge as the weapon the Lions envisioned when they drafted him in 2012.
Prior to a disappointing single-season stint in Pittsburgh, Moore had several productive years with the New Orleans Saints, playing in a similar offense to the one coordinator Joe Lombardi has installed in Detroit. The story went on to say Jeremy Ross served as the team's primary slot receiver last year, but despite playing more than 700 offensive snaps, he recorded just 24 grabs for 314 yards and one score. Ross is so far the early favorite taking a majority of the snaps, but the team is hoping Broyles or Moore make a push. In an offense like the Lions, a productive slot receiver could end up on the fantasy radar in deeper leagues at least.
Saturday, July 4, 2015, 10:20am
Second-year tight end Eric Ebron has expressed interest in joining QB Matthew Stafford in Atlanta at some point over the next month, and it wouldn’t be surprising if other guys find their way down there too.
"This team is a hard-working team and when we go away, we come back in great shape," Stafford said. "But there's no substitute for running routes for a receiver and catching the ball from the guy you're going to be catching the ball from during the season."
Stafford will hook up with WR Calvin Johnson but hopes others, like Ebron, make it a point to be there, too. The offense is expected to run much smoother in year two of Joe Lombardi’s system. Stafford has already talked about being much more comfortable with it. The story went on to say Ebron is expected to play a big role this season, and continuing to work with some of the other guys – like a Jeremy Ross or veteran Lance Moore – over the next month will only help Stafford and this offense be able to hit the ground running for the start of training camp.
Steelers WR Markus Wheaton ran 119 routes out of the slot last year — third most on the team behind Lance Moore and Justin Brown — but had only nine receptions. While he was in the slot, the playbook was limited for him.
“The plays I had last year were customized for me,” Wheaton said. “They made it out so I had some simple stuff. Being there full time, I am going to see a lot more.”
This is actually more about Martavis Bryant than it is Wheaton. The Steelers wouldn't be moving him to the slot if they weren't prepared to give Bryant starter's snaps on the outside. Wheaton will struggle to be fantasy relevant in the slot, while Bryant is looking more and more like a solid pick in the 5th or 6th round.
In 2015, the Lions hope a veteran like Moore can help Stafford feast on opposing defenses as he brings plenty of familiarity with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's scheme.
"He seems like a great guy," Stafford said last week at Taste of the Lions. "He obviously has knowledge of the system. It's changed a little bit. We talked about that, but not too much to where it's going to be tough for him to learn it."
Moore is turning 32 this summer and it's not clear how much he has left in the tank. He was only targeted 26 times last season as the Steelers' WR4, but he does seemed to be a handpicked choice for Lombardi's offense. He could serve as the team's WR3 if he has a good summer.
Moore is turning 32 this summer and it's not clear how much he has left in the tank. He was only targeted 26 times last season as the Steelers' WR4. At this point, he's competing for a roster spot, not a major role in the passing game.
Saturday, January 3, 2015, 7:03pm
Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:09pm
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 3. Moore is set to return to WR3 duties this week.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30pm
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin) took full practice reps again Thursday. It looks like Moore is ready to make his return to game action.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:15pm
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin) practiced fully Wednesday. It looks like Moore is ready to make his return to game action.
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7:12pm
Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 7:02pm
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin, out) did not practice Wednesday. Moore is out again so look for Justin Brown to handle WR3 duties against the Ravens.
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:45pm
Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder, doubtful) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is doubtful for Week 1. He’s probably not going to play this week. With Lance Moore also out, we may be seeing extra two-TE sets with Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth.
Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:45pm
Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 1. With Moore out, look for a few extra targets for Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton, and more two-TE sets with Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth.
- Page 1