Lions Leave Batch, Stewart & Others Exposed

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Nate Caminata -

Unless the expansion Houston Texans neglect a potentially solid offensive duo, the Detroit Lions will feature a completely different look personnel-wise next season.

The Lions officially announced which set of players they will leave unprotected for the expansion draft, which will embark on February 18. Among those include starting quarterback Charlie Batch, his backfield comrade James Stewart, and veteran safety Kurt Schulz.

The Texans will be able to select between 30 and 42 players that each ball club leaves available. Other Lions left exposed are long-snapper Brad Banta and tailback Reuben Droughns.

Houston is rumored to have a keen interest in Batch, 27, but Detroit's decision to leave Stewart unsheltered was a surprise move. The Lions are looking to bring in a west coast-style running back -- a feature back that is as productive out of the backfield as he is in the backfield. Stewart, apparently, did not fit that mold.

It was evident after Batch's week one benching that head coach Marty Mornhinweg did not feel comfortable with the former 2nd round draft choice under the helm.

If the Texans pick up at least Batch or Stewart, it will release a tremendous salary cap burden the team presently harbors.

Mornhinweg promoted running backs' coach Maurice Carthon to offensive coordinator. To assist even further with the offense, the ball club hired offensive guru Sherm Lewis as an offensive assistant. Lewis served as the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator last season, and helped Mike Holmgren engineer the Green Bay Packers' offensive juggernaut between 1992 and 1999.

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