(ALLEN PARK) The final cuts are always bittersweet for a coaching staff.
It's great for them to reward players who have toughed it out and made it to the final 53. On the other hand it's tough to tell a kid who's given his all in camp that his missing camp time due to injury or a key mistake cost him his chance to make the club. A look at some of the hits and misses:
Chris Kern - A great reward for a kid who gave it his all for two years before making the team. Kern showed superior cover ability a year ago after graduating from Division II Mount Union, but an injury cost him significant practice time and he was released. Kern came back this year with the same tenacity, speed and willingness to mix it up on coverage teams. He deserves this opportunity.
Reggie Swinton - It's hard to believe that a dropped pass in the end zone against the Buffalo Bills in the last preseason game cost Swinton his roster spot, but with the talent Detroit had this year at receiver, that could have been the determining factor. He cannot be signed to the practice squad, he's out of here.
Avon Cobourne - If he isn't claimed by another team, he'll likely be added to the eight man practice squad. He's a tough runner, with some speed and elude. If Shawn Bryson should falter, Cobourne could be up in a flash.
Stephen Trejo - After making the team as an undrafted free agent two seasons ago, he became expendable when Paul Smith joined the team. Smith is faster, tougher and more versatile. Trejo just got beaten out.
Andrew Battle - He should look at what happened with Chris Kern and if he's signed to the practice squad, give it his all. He was looking like a lock early on but too much missed practice time cost him his chance.
David Kircus - Kircus is extremely close, but seems to be running out of patience. He should watch the example of Bill Schroeder, who took years to establish himself as an NFL receiver but eventually had a decent career before losing his heart for the game. Don't give up, David, next year, if you stick around, you'll be on the roster.
Curt Anes - Another candidate for the practice squad who should keep his mouth shut (as he has done) and work hard. A decision will be made on Mike McMahon - if it already hasn't been made - and Anes could be Detroit's developmental QB with a younger veteran coming in as a backup next season to replace Rick Mirer.
Rod Babers - Just flat got beaten out by Chris Kern. Detroit may not even want him on their practice squad but with eight openings, he's a candidate. They'll look at other teams cuts for practice squad players as well.
Other practice squad candidates: Dave Pearson, Andrew Shull and Jeff Sanchez
Detroit also could take a look at safety Kwame Lassiter and linebacker Jason Gildon, both released in the final cuts if President Matt Millen and the coaching staff feel there is a need for depth. Those kinds of moves would result in the need for subtracting players from the current roster.
We'll know by noon, stay tuned.
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