Behind Enemy Lines, Part 2

With the Dolphins getting ready to face Detroit on Thanksgiving, we took time out to find out about the Lions by checking in with RoarReport.com publisher Nate Caminata. Part 2 focuses on the Lions' poor showing this season and former Dolphins first-round pick Jamar Fletcher.

DD: Why are the Lions 2-8?

Caminata: A multitude of reasons, really. The team's inconsistent (and sometimes putrid) play both offensively and defensively is a direct reflection of the new coaching staff and the massive changes in philosophy and the playbook. Injuries and suspensions (see: Shaun Rogers) haven't exactly helped matters. But simply put, Rod Marinelli still needs to field his own players, and right now they are too few and far between.

DD: Do you think the Ford family's patience with Matt Millen is about to run out?

Caminata: Ford Sr. and Millen are close, but it's been rumored that Ford Jr. -- who has more of an advisory role in Detroit -- is chomping at the bit to get rid of Millen. Any member of the media and any fellow GM in sports would privately tell you that the experiment has been nothing short of disastrous. Already, rumors have surfaced that Junior has a few favorites picked out to replace Millen, including current Lions VP Tom Lewand and Eagles GM and Michigan native Tom Heckert.

DD: How significant is the Thanksgiving Day game for the Lions and their players?

Caminata: No one can remember the last time Detroit was allowed to play on Monday night, so the Thanksgiving Day game is a chance for the team to strut itself nationally. Anytime players can play before a national audience, and even more notably to be a part of a long-time NFL tradition is special to them, the coaching staff and especially the fans.

DD: How has former Dolphins cornerback Jamar Fletcher performed this season?

Caminata: Fletcher spelled Fernando Bryant as the starter during Bryant's injury absence and managed to collect the team's first interception of the year. Since Bryant's return, Fletcher has played in both nickel and dime packages and has been a solid contributor.

DD: Do you get a sense that the Lions are ready to pack it in because of their record or do you expect a spirited effort on Thursday?

Caminata: If the premise of playing in front of a national audience isn't motivation enough, nothing will be. Marinelli and the coaching staff do a good job of preparing the team and keeping the team's collective head focused, but a loss to the Arizona Cardinals would push anyone to the brink. At this point, with the playoffs out of the question, many players are now fighting for their job, so expect a spirited fight. At least or a half.


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