Week 8 Rookie Report -- Boss Week!
LB - Boss Bailey - This past Sunday in Chicago was Boss' best game as a professional. He recorded eight solo tackles and his first NFL sack. His superb athletic skills were put to use as he was used as a blitzing linebacker, run-stopping linebacker, coverage linebacker, and even lined up at cornerback a few plays.
One play in the second quarter, Boss blitzed from the strong side position and almost sacked Chris Chandler, but was unable to stop the Bears' quarterback before he released the ball. As soon as the ball was caught eight yards upfield by a receiver, a blur of Honolulu Blue appeared from the backside of the screen and tackled the wideout. Plays like these are what the Lions hoped for when selected the super-athlete with their second pick.
His actual sack came in the second quarter at midfield. Boss blitzed from the weak side and was able to outmaneuver the blocker, running back Rabih Abdullah, for the takedown.
Boss was also very stingy in run support. He cut running back Brock Forsey's corners off, not allowing him to run outside of the tackles; penetrated and helped slow down Bears runners in the backfield; and made a key play on a third and short. Bears fullback Stanley Pritchett was handed the ball and expected to gain a few inches for a first down deep in Lions' territory, but Bailey penetrated, slowed him down, and defensive end James Hall finished the back off for the loss. The Bears were forced to kick a field goal, which was blocked.
Because cornerback Rod Babers was injured, Bailey was forced into dime cornerback duties. Slot receiver Bobby Wade put a few nice moves on the hesitant Bailey, leaving the linebacker behind in coverage. Wade ended up with three catches for 39 yards, none more important than an 18-yarder on third and 10. To his credit, Boss had no help in any of his coverage. Lastly, Boss made a very nice break and hit on a five-yard pass to TE Dustin Lyman. As soon as Chandler released the ball, Bailey broke on Lyman and drilled him as the catch was made. The hit drew a collective "Ohhhhhhh" from the crowd.
TE - Casey Fitzsimmons - Fitz had little impact on the game. He caught one pass for one yard early in the game. Later on, in the red zone, he was open on a playaction bootleg to the right side, but slipped on the grass causing Harrington to throw the ball behind him. He saw action on special teams punt coverage, but made didn't fair well. He was badly out of tackling position on an R.W. McQuarters return that went for 26 yards.
S - Terrence Holt - Holt was activated for his second game of the season and was very unimpressive. His biggest mishap was on the Jerry Azumah 89-yard kickoff return to open the second half. Azumah didn't put much of a move on Holt, but was still able to shed the rookie safety's tackle at the Bears 40-yard line before ripping off 60 more yards for the score. Holt dove high at Azumah's shoulders and slid off of the cornerback as if he was lathered up with Lysol cleaner. Holt recorded no tackles in the game.
CB - Rod Babers - Babers dislocated his shoulder on the opening kickoff and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. However, a dislocated shoulder is the same injury that James Stewart, Andre Goodman, and Brian Williams all sustained, and all are out for the season. Monitor this situation closely. If Babers goes down for the season, the Lions have three cornerbacks on the roster.
LB - James Davis - "Dirty" mainly saw PT on special teams, but did record one tackle in the very minimal time he saw as a linebacker.
Other rookies - DE/DT Cory Redding and RB/KR Avon Cobourne were listed as inactive. RB Artose Pinner should begin practicing in a week, for the first time all season. WR David Kircus, on the team's practice squad, is not an option to call up according to Mariucci. WR Charles Rogers' broken collarbone is healing on pace and he should be back in 4-5 weeks.