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Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 9:04am
Some notes from Lions camp:
Theo Riddick got some receiver work: I’m not sure if this has been going on for the majority of camp because I’ve often been focused on line and running back play, but Riddick ran receiver-versus-cornerback drills with the wideouts Monday night. He didn’t receive too many reps there, but he did beat Nevin Lawson on a nice route.
Riddick's primary role during his first two seasons has been as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and he has experience as a slot receiver in college. This could be an instance of the Lions getting Riddick some extra receiving work, especially since he had a bunch of carries during team period. But it is something to watch.
Offense dominated the goal-line session: The Lions ran a period of goal-line offense with the three top quarterbacks Monday and the offense was dominant throughout. Matthew Stafford’s group scored on at least four of five tries. He was credited for scoring on all five tries, but his pass to Calvin Johnson appeared to hit the ground. The referee called it a touchdown, but from my view it looked like it would have been overturned.
The most important thing to take away is the offensive line was particularly dominant during this period, a good sign for the team’s run game. George Winn, Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick all had rushing touchdowns with the first group. One of the only stops for the defense during the drill was a Desmond Martin carry that was blown dead before he reached the end zone. To add more insult there, Martin kept running and was hit pretty squarely by Isa Abdul-Quddus. The safety has been one of the fiercest hitters in camp, although keep in mind the goal during practice is not to take players to the ground.
Perhaps the team is trying to find ways to get Riddick involved in the offense as more than just a RB3. The team has struggled to find a third receiving option behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate so this is something to keep an eye on. It's also probably safe to assume Joique Bell would get a lot of touches in goal-line running situations.
Posted by Scot Berggren
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 8:16pm
After battling through an ankle injury that kept him out of three full games last season, Calvin Johnson is completely healthy. Despite the missed action, he still eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth time in his eight year career, catching 71 passes along the way. As QB Matthew Stafford’s favorite target, Johnson was over the century mark five times and the Lions offense just isn’t the same without him in the lineup. Prior to last season, Megatron had only missed four games in his career. Along with Demaryius Thomas, he is the only other WR to register over 4,000 receiving yards in the past three seasons and has scored 20 times the past two years.
For the first time in five seasons, Calvin finished outside the top 6 in WR scoring, but finished in the top 10 on a points per game basis. In addition to last year’s injury, he’s had knee problems that have given him fits throughout his career.
When Calvin is on the field, Stafford will look to him first, regardless of the opponent or how many defensive backs are around. Stafford targeted him at least 10 times on nine occasions last season and, at 6’5”, Johnson seems to come down with just about anything near him. While he’s listed as our number five WR, Megatron is still one of the best in the game and can give you a big game any week. The downside is his age (30 in September) and the wear and tear on his large frame. Can Calvin stay healthy?
2015 Strength of Schedule - DET
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.
2014 Game Stats