Running Game Falters on Friday

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Justin Vanfulpen -

SAGINAW- One thing that didn't look so good this past first pre-season game on Friday night was the Lions running game. The Lions only managed 54 yards on 20 carries for a horrible 2.7 average. True, James Stewart didn't run the ball all that much ... finishing with 3 carries for 12 yards ... but the Lions back-ups didn't show very much of anything. Reuben Droughns lead the team in rushing with 19 yards on 6 carries. The other running backs didn't carry the ball much at all, Lamont Warren carried once for 7 yards and Sedrick Irvin obtained 3 carries for 0 yards.

"People have to understand that we are trying gel," said James Stewart. "We are trying to fine tune everything so it is not always going to be perfect but I think that everybody is enthusiastic about what happened."

Marty Mornhinweg is not that worried about the running game, and talked about his time in the NFL where the team never got the running game going and then lead the league in rushing.

"There has been pre-season when we never got it going and lead the league in rushing," said Mornhinweg. "If there is something more important to evaluate or to get better at we will do that."

But that doesn't mean that he doesn't want to get the running game going, and he plans sometime in the next 3 per-season games to do just that.

"I would like to do that one time this pre-season is get the running game going for a brief period of time," he said.

With that statement you can see what this offense is focused on, and Stewart agree's.

"The West Coast offense is a passing offense, I will play more catching the ball out of the backfield, lining out wide and stuff like that," Stewart commented.

One thing that quarterback Charlie Batch did tell Stewart before the Lions scored on their second pass play Friday night was that they where going to score on that play, and they did.

"He just told me, we are going to score on this play right here, I see it coming and then I got in to the game and he did it so he knew what he was talking about." Stewart said.

Something that the Lions are looking for is a back up for James Stewart, and Marty knows that it will be close.

"We have four quality halfbacks involved in that close heavy competition," said Mornhinweg.

One player that Mornhinweg wants to see more of in the pre-season games is Sedrick Irvin.

"In the next two games, I would like to get Sedrick some opportunities to see his natural skill level come out," he said.

The Lions want to make sure that they have a strong running game going into the season, and think that they will hopeful;y they can show that in the next few pre-season games.

New and Notes:

Eugene Clinton is practicing with the second defense group and is look very well with a few interceptions in the past few practices, he is in there because of his play and the injury to Kywin Supernaw .

Even with his two drops in the pre-season game on Friday, Terrence Dupree has made up for them in practice, catching ever thing that has come his way.

Not only did Chidi Iwuoma have a strong game Friday, but he is also showing that in practice, making plays and knocking the ball down .

Running back Amp Lee's hamstring is coming along and he might play Saturday.

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