Allen Park- Mini-camp is long over but there are still players working out at the Lions practice facility in Allen Park. Here are some news and notes:
-June 1st is almost here and when it does come there will be many players that will be looking for jobs since that is the day when NFL teams can cut players and not take such a large hit on the salary cap for this upcoming season. Players that the Lions will be letting go then are: QB Charlie Batch and WR Herman Moore. Batch will be looking for another team to continue his career with; while it looks like Moore will retire and focus on his business that he has around the Detroit area.
-The Lions are looking to find at least one cornerback in the free-agent market, there is little right now but the team hopes since that June 1st is come up that maybe one or two cornerback will find themselves with out a job. The Lions are still a couple of weeks away on finding out if cornerback Terry Fair will need surgery on his broken right foot and will be lost for the season. But there are some thoughts inside the Lions organization that Fair will be able to heal and be ready when training camp opens.
-While Lamar Campbell could play safety this season like he did last year, new defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer has given him some work back at his old spot at cornerback with the health of Fair in question.
-The Lions really like center Dominic Raiola who was last year's second-round pick out of Nebraska, and he will be given ever opportunity to get in the starting line-up this season. He has worked both at center and guard this off-season and will push for a starting job at either spot. Eric Beverly last years starting center outplayed Raiola last season, but he also has worked out at both guard and center this off-season so that the Lions can get the best five offensive linemen the have on the field at once.
-Last year's first round draft choice Jeff Backus has really improved this off-season adding both weight to his frame and overall strength. The Lions are looking for even big and better things from Backus in 2002.
-Running back James Stewart is restructuring his contract and will stay with the team for 2002. The Lions have talked to other running back but it looks like for at least this season the Lions will start Stewart and the team has high hopes for 7th round pick Luke Staley. Running back coach Maurice Carthon believes that if Staley stays healthy that he can be a player in the NFL. Staley is someone that everyone will be keeping their eyes on, the Lions hope that he can be the teams third down running back with his receiving skills playing a big part this season.
- Outside linebacker Barrett Green has really improved this off-season with his strength and conditioning, and has add some weight to his frame, the Lions coaches think that will help him this season and are looking for him to have a break out season.