Regardless of the question, the answer from Lions quarterback Jon Kitna sounded pretty much the same: "Everything's going to be fine." More news, notes and quotes as the team picks itself up after Sunday's loss and prepares for next week.
Regardless of the question, the answer from Lions quarterback Jon Kitna
sounded pretty much the same: "Everything's going to be fine."
Does the 9-6 loss to Seattle give the Lions something on which to build, Jon?
"We're going to be fine. There are a lot of guys who learned a lot of things
about each other."
Do you have confidence in the offense, Jon? "We'll be fine on offense. We
will score points. We will hold up our end."
Is it encouraging that the defense played so well, Jon? "Again, our football
team's going to be fine."
That might be the case, but the no-touchdown performance in the debut of Mike
Martz as the Lions' offensive coordinator was certainly not what most fans and
observers expected in the season opener against Seattle.
Since the day last February that coach Rod Marinelli brought Martz aboard, he
has been touted as the guru of offenses, the creator of the Greatest Show on
Turf and a man who could certainly bring the Lions out of their five-year funk.
Kitna saw the team's failure to score as simply a matter of not being able to
string together enough good plays to complete a drive.
"It was two steps forward, one step back," Kitna said. "But we'll fix it. I'm
confident that coach Martz is going to fix it. He's still learning (about) us
and he's going to come back and I'm sure he'll have us better next week."
Wide receiver Mike Furrey, who initially seemed nothing more than a former
St. Louis Rams fringe player tagging along with offensive coordinator Mike Martz
on his move to Detroit, was one of the few offensive players who came up big in
the season opener.
Furrey led all Lions receivers with five receptions for 55 yards, including a
19-yarder on which he was drilled by Seattle free safety Ken Hamlin a split
second after the catch.
"That's my job," Hamlin said, laughing. "I caught it well enough before he
hit me and I knew I was going to get hit (so) I kind of cradled it out. The next
thing you know, I got the ball and I got hit. I just wanted to make sure I got
the first down."
Furrey got to his feet immediately, looked to the sidelines and then gave the
Ford Field crowd the first down signal.
QB Josh McCown was never declared the backup quarterback after sharing that
role with Dan Orlovsky during the four preseason games but he apparently won the
competition for the No. 2 job. Coach Rod Marinelli had remained vague on the
subject but it was McCown who was active in the season opener with Orlovsky
inactive as the No. 3 QB behind Jon Kitna.
LG Ross Verba, who had taken over the LG job in day one of training camp,
missed the season opener with a strained hamstring suffered in practice last
week. The injury is not believed to be extremely serious and his return is day
to day, possibly in time for the Lions' game Sunday at Chicago.
WR Mike Williams' battle for playing time apparently isn't over simply because
he survived the final roster cuts a week before the season opener. Williams, a
first round pick in 2005, was one of the inactives for the Seattle game.
LB Ernie Sims, the Lions' first-round pick in the NFL draft last spring,
performed up to expectations in his starting role in the Lions' season opener
against Seattle. Sims led the Lions defenders with 10 tackles (seven solos) and
continued to impress Lions coaches with his speed and aggressive style of play.
RT Rex Tucker is getting close to making a complete return from the knee
injury he suffered early in the Lions' training camp according to coach Rod Marinelli. Tucker was on the field for only a couple of plays in the
season-opening 9-6 loss to Seattle but Marinelli indicated he might be ready to
return to the starting lineup Sunday at Chicago.