Bly versus Detroit

WR Roy Williams on the return of cornerback Dre' Bly to Detroit: "If I was to run 10 routes on Dre', it'd probably be 60-40, advantage me. But as far as if (running back) Kevin Jones ran at him, 10 out of 10 times Dre is going to miss the tackle." Much more inside...

People have been talking a lot about the past with cornerback Dre' Bly returning to Detroit for Sunday's Broncos-Lions game. Bly went to two Pro Bowls in four years with the Lions. He also ignited a firestorm by blaming coach Steve Mariucci's firing on quarterback Joey Harrington, and he probably will be booed for it by the Ford Field fans.

But the present is a lot of fun to talk about, too. The Lions have 13 interceptions this season -- one more than they had all of last season -- even though they traded Bly, who led them in interceptions each of the last four years. Now Bly will have to go up against the Lions' receiving corps of Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald.

"There's going to be trash talking all day," Williams said. "That's what Dre' does. He's gonna talk trash to the fans. He's gonna talk trash to us. He'll talk trash to the refs. That's just the way Dre' plays. He's a Pro Bowler. He's won a Super Bowl."

The trash talk will go beyond football.

"We're both competitors," Williams said. "We both make stupid bets: who could spell their name the fastest, Dre' or Roy. We're real competitive. We want to be the best at everything we do, so it's going to be a great matchup this week."

Why did the Lions get rid of Bly? The official reason was that he didn't fit the system. Translation: He wasn't physical enough. The Tampa-2 defense requires corners to play zone, stick their noses in there and tackle well. Bly prefers man-to-man coverage.

"Of course, he's not the best tackler in the world," Williams said, smiling. "That's why we let him go, because we need corners that can tackle. ... Dre' is not a hitter, period. Dre' is a no-hitter. Isn't that a term in baseball, a no-hitter? He's a no-hitter. ...

"If I was to run 10 routes on Dre', it'd probably be 60-40, advantage me. But as far as if (running back) Kevin Jones ran at him, 10 out of 10 times Dre is going to miss the tackle."

Told Bly might be offended by those remarks, Williams smiled and said he wouldn't be.

"He knows it's true," Williams said.

Individual Player Notes

  • WR Calvin Johnson, who aggravated a back injury Sunday at Chicago, was gimpy in practice Wednesday, according to offensive coordinator Mike Martz. The Lions hope Johnson will improve as the week goes on. He should play Sunday against Denver, but he might not be able to handle a full load.
  • DE Kalimba Edwards, who missed the Chicago game with a knee injury, was officially limited in practice Wednesday. But defensive coordinator Joe Barry said Edwards looked good and said he had no soreness Thursday. Edwards should be ready to return to the lineup and start at right end.
  • RT George Foster is struggling with an ankle injury and his status is uncertain for Sunday's game against his former team, the Broncos. He was not with the starters during team drills Thursday.
  • RB Tatum Bell, another former Bronco, could be inactive for the second straight game. Kevin Jones and T.J. Duckett are the one-two punch at running back, and Aveion Cason has special teams value.
  • CB Travis Fisher, who suffered a back injury Sunday at Chicago, has practiced fully this week and appears to be fine for Sunday's game against Denver.

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