Notes: Fairley not worried, Follett Done

Nick Fairley isn't concerned about his bum left foot; DeAndre Levy remains cool with losing his post at middle linebacker; Zack Follett calls it quits; and Rob Sims playing left tackle? And more news and notes as the Detroit Lions prepare for Wednesday's training camp session.

  • Consider Nick Fairley among the few not overly concerned about his injured foot. Fairley injured the ankle on Monday and was walking around with a boot on Tuesday, and is still awaiting further evaluation.
    • "It's not (a big setback) at all," Fairley said as he walked past reporters on his way into the Lions' locker room. "I'm doing whatever I can do to get ready to get back as soon as I can.
       
  • The news wasn't as good for linebacker Zack Follett. The former late round draft choice opted to depart training camp, likely for retirement. Follett tweeted on Tuesday that his neck felt "on fire" during drills. Follett missed the bulk of the 2010 season after suffering what appeared to be a serious neck injury. Although he was given clearance to play, it was evident that issues still lingered. Regardless, Follett managed to remain positive.
    • Tweeted Follett: "Much as I fought to give it a go just wasn't in His plan. No longer a Lion. God has me filled with plenty of Joy #Godbytheglory Thanks!"
       
  • Kyle Vanden Bosch, a Detroit locker room leader and one not afraid to share his opinion, stopped by the Jim Rome show on Tuesday. Vanden Bosch said that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was "ahead" of where he was last year, and said of quarterback Matthew Stafford: “I’ve been impressed with (him) since the day I walked in this building." Likely newly signed linebacker Stephen Tulloch, Vanden Bosch also claimed that Jim Schwartz was the reason he came to Detroit in 2010.
    • "know the kind of coach Schwartz is, and I knew this was going to be a quick turnaround. And it has been, and I think we’re going to take the next step."
       
  • As we mentioned in training camp yesterday, receiver Demario Ballard caught everyone's eye, and it wasn't just his 6-foot-6 frame. Other than his pass-catching skills, the undrafted free-agent has also nabbed the attention of the one who matters most on the field: Schwartz.
    • "He definitely catches your eye, number one, physically," Schwartz said. "I mean, he's so tall and rangy. (He's) got a long way to go. Came from lower-level competition at Western Oregon, but he's got some skills."
       
  • Lost amid the excitement of signing Stephen Tulloch a few days ago might have been the feelings of DeAndre Levy. Considered Detroit's next great middle linebacker just a season ago, Levy will likely find himself on the outside looking in -- literally -- on a revamped linebacking core. Tulloch and fellow outside linebacker Justin Durant will join the team on Thursday, with Levy taking orders from Tulloch. According to Levy, that isn't a problem.
    • "It wouldn't affect me," Levy said. "I told them I'm open to the move. Whatever's best for us as a unit as a whole, we want to have the three best guys in the three best spots. So whatever works for us I'm willing to help out."
       
  • The Lions only have nine healthy lineman on the practice field, but that hasn't stopped Schwartz and the coaching staff from getting creative. Left guard Rob Sims even lined up at tackle temporarily, before making way for last year's late-round pick, Jason Fox. April's seventh-round pick Johnny Culbreath, meanwhile, has played both tackle slots.
    • "It's really not an experiment, it's more a necessity," Schwartz said. "But it's been good. We can get something out of it, get a look at those guys and there're some young players in there."
       
  • The jokes ran rampant when the Lions signed former Colts' third-round pick and defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock. After all, Pitcock's addiction to video games is what had cut short his first attempt at becoming an NFL player. But as the Freep's Michael Rosenberg explains, it wasn't all fun and games.
    • He would sometimes eat only one meal a day, without even realizing it, because he was so focused on gaming. This sounds like the ultimate slacker story for the 21st century. It is not. It's much deeper, sadder and finally more inspiring than that.
       
  • Don't forget to jump in The Den community, the largest online gathering of Lions fans, to discuss the 2011 season.

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