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Adrian Donofrio - LionsFans.com
Training camps are almost over, and the regular season is right around the corner, bringing along eager anticipation from fans.
Most fans are eager to find out who makes the final cut and who gets their walking papers when it comes time to play regular season football.
One position that is still up for grabs is the #4 Wide Reciever slot. The two front runners, 2001 fifth round pick Scotty Anderson and 2nd year player Larry Foster, have no danger in getting released. They both have flashed the coaching staff with that special playmaking ability that head coaches and GM's covet.
Larry Foster, picked up last year as an un-drafted free agent, was voted as the Mel Farr rookie of the year by teammates. Foster owned the only 100 yard game for a Lions reciever last year, with 8 receptions and 106 yards against the Vikings. He also blocked the first punt by a Lion since 1992 in New York against the Giants.
But Foster is focused on this year. With Scotty Anderson flashing awesome potential in minicamps and training camps, its almost as if Foster has to prove himself once again. He did just that against the Cincinatti Bengals in the first pre-season game of the year.
Foster returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown, but he wasn't done just yet. He also had a stellar 101 yard kickoff return, also for a touchdown.
Foster insists he wasn't looking for a touchdown on either play, but coaches don't care. He's made an impression, and that can't be erased. He's done what he needed to do to lock up the 4th reciever slot, right?
Enter Scotty Anderson, who has impressed coaches in practices and camps, by making the hardest catches routine.
Anderson, at 6'2, came into camp at 184 pounds. Since then, he has increased his weight to 196, and has been working hard towards making himself a better athlete, thereby giving himself a better chance at that 4th spot. Anderson doesn't think being at the 4th recievr slot as a rookie isn't reasonable, either.
"It's very reasonable," Anderson says. "That's why I play hard every play."
Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg is disapointed in Anderson's pre-season play, though. Several drops has confused Morhinweg. He knows Anderson can do better, and make the catches. He has high expectations for Scotty, and has told him that.
"It's a continual process for any rookie," Morhinweg explains. "But certainly he has flashed time and time again for us."
"He's a big, lean-type guy--although he's over 190, so he's added a little strength to him--but he's a very fine athlete, he catches the ball with ease, and we'll see in the scrimmages and pre-season games if he's one of those guys that makes big plays at the right moment."
If Anderson can translate his big playmaing ability to the playing field like he has in practice, then there's no telling who will come up with the 4th Wide Reciever slot. Until then, there's plenty of work to be done with camps winding down and roster spots being cemented.