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Lions Notes: Harris Gets Contract Extension

  • Punter Nick Harris has been signed to a five-year extension through the 2012 season.  Special teams some times makes the difference between a win and a loss (ask the Eagles after Sunday), and having a valuable asset like Harris is great.  Harris pinned Oakland deep into their own territory once on Sunday to help set up a Detroit touchdown.

  • In other transaction news, Detroit signed cornerback Tony Beckham again yesterday after releasing him on Saturday.  The reason the Lions did that was so they didn't have to guarantee his salary for the 2007 season.  Also, wide receiver Brandon Middleton was waived today.

  • Opening statement from Rod Marinelli's weekly press conference:
    "First thing I'll cover is just the injuries. The only one, it was just like last night, is a mild high sprained ankle with T.J. (Duckett). We've just got to kind of see it tomorrow and kind of wait and see in terms of when, see how he's feeling. But we'll kind of have to play it from there.

    "Just kind of recap from what I talked about last night, nothing more than that. The team didn't blink, and that's the thing I talked to them about today. It's something we've emphasized day in and day out, and I think we did a good job just playing one snap at a time, and they fought through some adversity, which, that's what I'm looking for. I was pleased with both sides of the ball in terms of the up-front men. I keep using the term, `It starts up front.' I thought our offensive line protected very well against a good rush front, two good rushers, and we opened up some seams in the running game. That was good. I thought the front on defense played well. They pressured very well. So, that was pleasing. The special teams I thought were very good. Obviously, Jason Hanson, going 3-for-3 in the kicking game; he kicked two from the dirt, and that's tough. Boy that was a tough infield. Just as important, though, our rush team: Shaun Rogers blocked one, and then, once he got that first one, boy, the tempo was set. We were getting great heat. So, those things were big in terms of that game. I was very pleased with no penalties in our return game; it's something we've hammered. We've wanted to make sure the drive charts were good all year long for our offense and our defense, and that was big. We had no penalties in the return game. One of their goals is to lengthen the field for the defense, shorten the field for the offense, and our drive chart ended up good, where we started at the 42 yard line, and they started at the 28. So, that's important in field position and you're trying to play good offense and good defense. But I was very pleased with our special teams and thought they did a heck of a job. Area of concerns still: I want to tackle. I thought we missed some tackles in this game; screen game hurt us a little bit, and it was more the fits, where we had No. 2 making sure we get outside the block, we had a guy getting inside a block. So we've got to make sure those are things that you correct. We've been on them. But we've got to get those things corrected, and we've got to obviously protect the ball at all times. No. 1 is we've got to protect the football.

    "One thing that was positive, we were plus one (in turnover margin). I think nine out of ten teams yesterday that were plus one or over won. You constantly emphasize the importance of ball security, protect the football, and taking the ball away.

    "The last thing I'll say before I answer questions, is I want to get away from this game as fast as I can. We've got a heck of a tough game this week with the Minnesota Vikings coming in here. All of our focus once the team finishes watching this film is all about Minnesota. That's all I'm interested in talking about. If we actually believe in playing one snap at a time, good play bad play, we let something good go and move on to the next thing. Right now, it's Minnesota Vikings, and that's what we've got to do. And we need our fans this week, big time. I want to create a playoff atmosphere at Ford Field. We've got the best fans around, we've got to get them something to cheer about, and that's our job. We need them to bring their A-game, and I'm looking forward to that."


  • Raiders cornerback Fabian Washington is talking smack despite losing on Sunday.
    As reported by Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Raiders CB Fabian Washington said [Calvin] Johnson, "wasn't that great to me.

    "They did things to get him open, like pick routes and all that. But he was nothing special, trust me."


    Considering this was Johnson's first game, I'd say 4 catches for 70 yards and a TD isn't bad.  I'll bet Johnson keeps this statement in mind the rest of the year, and hopefully it will motivate him even more than he already is.

  • Audio from Roy Williams' and Ernie Sims' appearance on WDFN earlier today.