Lions' insider Mike Fowler shares his analysis of the Olandis Gary acquisition, and what it means to Detroit, the soon-to-be-named practice squad (and strong possibilities), and thoughts on the current Lions' cornerback situation.
ON OLANDIS GARY: The trade for Olandis Gary shows that Steve Mariucci
did not feel comfortable going into the season with three virtually untested backs.
They also didnt feel Autry Denson was a good fit for their team despite his
production. Gary gives the Lions a solid but unspectacular back who has also been
plagued by injury.
The fact that they only gave a conditional draft pick made the trade work. If Gary
is unproductive, the pick is going to be very low, maybe 7th or none at all. If hes
productive and healthy he becomes a factor this year and beyond. Bottom line is
James Stewart is on his last year here in Detroit.
If Gary is productive, it will be interesting to see just how much playing time Stewart
gets, especially once rookie running back Artose Pinner comes of the NFI list.
Somebody is going to become expendable at that point. Detroit wont part
with Cobourne or Pinner so somebodys going to be the odd man out.
ON CORNERBACK SITUATION: I believe Detroit will use a high draft pick
next season to address the corner situation, but they got burned with the selections of
Bryant Westbrook (5th overall) and Kevin Abrams (2nd round) in 1999, along with Terry Fair
(23rd overall). Each of those guys should be on the roster. The Lions still have
free agent acquisition Chris Watson, who made the team and is expected to be ready to play
in about two-to-three weeks.
ON PRACTICE SQUAD POSSIBILITIES: Ben Johnson, David Kircus, Jemeel
Powell and Jonathan Taylor will all be named to the practice squad, I believe. Curt
Anes could be the fifth guy. The only hangup would be if someone else on another
roster catches Detroit's eye. Taylor is eligible since he didnt play an
accrued season last year. He spent the year on injured reserve.
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