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Thursday Notes: Marinelli Openly Talks Draft Strategy

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  • Earlier this week, the NFL approved a number of rule changes, and one of them gives teams the ability to put a radio receiver in the helmet of a defensive player.  Previously, only quarterbacks have been able to have radios in their helmets, but the new rule will allow teams to put radios in two players' helmets.  The catch is that two players with radios can't be on the field at the same time, but that is to make sure that only one is being used on offense and only one on defense at a time.
  • Rod Marinelli said Wednesday that he's not sure which player will get the radio receiver on defense.  It would make sense for a middle linebacker to have it as they are like the quarterback of the defense.  However, it wouldn't surprise me if someone like Ernie Sims got it just because he is really the leader of the defense.
  • Going back to the rule changes, here are some of the other ones that were approved earlier this week: force-outs no longer exist on catches made by the sidelines, field goals can now be reviewed by instant replay, a team can defer if they win the coin toss, a direct snap from center that goes backwards is now a fumble rather than a false start, and 5-yard facemask penalties are gone (only facemasks of the 15-yard variety will be called).
  • Rod Marinelli is being very open with the Lions' draft "strategy" this year as he informed reporters of some of the players that have already visited Detroit for interviews.  That wouldn't be a big deal since most of these visits get out to the public anyways, but Marinelli added something to the names he listed.

    The past two years, the Lions crammed in as many as seven or eight visits a day. This year, they started earlier so they could limit the visits to two or three a day and take their time.

    "I felt, the first two years, there were so many in a day, I didn't get a good feel for these guys," Marinelli said. "When you bring in seven or eight a day, I don't do as good a job for myself."

    The Lions hope to limit their misses by taking players they really like, even if others don't rate the player as high as the pick.

    Unless this is just one big smokescreen (I doubt it), Marinelli basically is giving the other 31 NFL teams an exact idea of which players the Lions are seriously considering in this month's draft.  It may not come back to bite Detroit at all considering they can find a ton of ways to screw up the draft, but Pro Football Talk is reporting that league sources are "calling out" Marinelli for being so open.
  • Marinelli was hoping to add a veteran middle linebacker during free agency to anchor the Lions defense, but after not being able to sign one, the only option remaining now is the draft.  Matt Millen is fine with that, but Marinelli seems skeptical of having a young player leading the Tampa 2 defense.
  • Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel said that former Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers reported to the offseason conditioning program at a "decent weight."
  • Roy Williams trade rumors popped up again this week.  I believe they are just rumors as Detroit doesn't appear to have any interest in trading Williams.
  • The Detroit Lions' official site interviewed quarterback Drew Stanton.
  • The NFL released its primetime TV schedule for "Kickoff Weekend."
  • Since I last checked in with the 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft, the following players have been picked: Glenn Dorsey (Jets), Leodis McKelvin (Patriots), Matt Ryan (Ravens), Keith Rivers (Cincinnati), and Dominique  Rodgers-Cromartie (Saints).  The two players taken off the board that have an effect on the Lions are McKelvin and Rodgers-Cromartie as they are both cornerbacks.  That is a position Detroit will likely consider drafting with pick #15, although I don't think it's too high on their priority list right now.  Remember, keep checking out Mocking the Draft for constant updates on the latest picks.