Wednesday Notes: Lions Sign Marquand Manuel

  • The Lions signed safety Marquand Manuel on Tuesday.  Manuel most recently played for the Broncos.  Overall, the Lions are Manuel's sixth different team in eight seasons.
  • The Lions hired Miller McCalmon and Cary Conklin earlier this week.  McCalmon, who worked with Martin Mayhew in 1999 in Washington, will serve as the Lions' Assistant Director of Pro Personnel.  Conklin, who played with Mayhew on the Redskins, will be a Regional Scout for the West Coast.
  • Jon Jansen passed his physical and is officially a member of the team.  The Lions will start him out at right tackle, but Jansen feels he can play any position on the O-line.
  • The million dollar question -- or in this case, the $72 million question -- is about when Matthew Stafford will see the field for the first time in his NFL career.  Jim Schwartz answered that question for Peter King, being very clear about when Stafford will play.
    "We've got two criteria for when Matthew will play,'' said Schwartz. "One is he'll play when he's ready. The second is when he's the best quarterback for us. But so far, whatever the opposite of buyers' remorse is, that's what we have. We knew he had the terrific NFL arm. But we've found out his release is just textbook classic.''
    King speculates that Culpepper will have to play exceptionally well to hold off Stafford based on his conversation with Schwartz, so perhaps this "arms race," as Schwartz called it, will be closer than originally expected.
  • Drew Stanton put up a new entry on his blog recently, and he talked about his experiences with the team since the new coaching staff took over.  Everything he had to say about his new coaches was positive, and the quote below pretty much sums up how he felt about the old coaching staff.
    Football has been as good as I could have hoped considering the situation I find myself in.  I think it has to do with the fact that I enjoy just going to work now on a daily basis.  My first two years I could not have said that and meant it, but now I really do.  The offense is great, my coaches actually coach and teach, and I feel as if I am constantly learning.
    Stanton went on to say that the coaches haven't treated him any differently since the arrival of Matthew Stafford, which is good to hear considering how easy it would be for them to simply put him on the back burner with a No. 1 overall pick coming in.
  • Kevin Smith also put up a new post recently and talked about how surprisingly well Stafford has played so far in OTAs.
  • Linebacker DeAndre Levy and center Dan Gerberry (rookie from Ball State) got into a "skirmish" at a recent OTA.  It was broken up quickly, though.
  • The Lions' final OTA is tomorrow.  The team will then train for two weeks before having a mandatory minicamp from June 22-24.  I believe the schedule after that is four more weeks of conditioning before training camp begins at the very end of July.
  • Sean Conover has changed positions from tight end to defensive end.
  • Dave Birkett is officially done covering the Lions, as he is off to AnnArbor.com to cover Michigan football.  I want to wish Dave good luck with his new job and thank him on behalf of all Lions fans for the great job he did covering the Lions. 
  • I think it's safe to say that offensive lineman Ephraim Salaam is the best TV personality on the team.  He recently went on Ellen to show off his run through the obstacle course on the show Wipeout.  Hilarity ensues.
  • Jim Schwartz is a pretty decent golfer for someone who can only get on the course for a few months each year.
  • Lions director of security Ricky Sandoval, who is battling pancreatic cancer, has a blog to keep everyone updated on his treatments. (HT: John Niyo)
  • FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez thinks the Lions had the best draft this year.
  • Madden NFL 10 is going to have authentic kicking styles, and IGN has a screenshot of Jason Hanson getting ready to make a kick.
  • Peter King thinks that Matt Millen is the leader in the clubhouse to land the job of NFL Network color commentator.
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