Note: Starting today, “Notes” is going to take a slightly different look. We’re going to take a primary focus on the leading “note,” diving a little deeper into that story to give you more than just a minor blip. After that headlining story, the rest of the notes will look the exact same with the normal bullet points.
Former NFL defensive end Stephen White has a series for SB Nation entitled “NFL breakout players 2018: Predicting the next big thing for all 32 teams.” You can check out the entire series here, but since this is a Detroit Lions blog, let’s focus on White’s choice for them.
White did not include and rookies or second-year players on his list, disqualifying them on the basis that they aren’t true breakout players that young. So his selection for the Detroit Lions was tight end Luke Willson.
White is impressed at what Willson brings both as a receiver and a blocker.
“With the Seahawks, Willson was more of a blocker, especially after they brought in Jimmy Graham in 2015. He’s pretty good at it, but it would be a huge mistake to think that blocking is all Willson can do,” White wrote.
“Willson has great size for the position and the dude has some wheels on him, too. He can get upfield in a hurry, and he should be a weapon for the Lions in the middle of the field this season.”
While Willson hasn’t exactly impressed at camp or preseason yet, this is definitely what the Lions were hoping for when they signed Willson in free agency.
- Episode 3 of “Inside the Den,” a behind-the-scenes look a Lions training camp, has dropped. This episode deals with die-hard Lions fans, Matthew Stafford’s personal life, and the week of joint practices with the Giants:
- It’s been an up-and-down week for former Lions running back Tion Green. First, he was signed by the Indianapolis Colts, but was then cut before he had his chance to impress during Monday’s preseason game. After Colts running back Josh Ferguson was injured in that game, the Colts have now re-signed Green back to the roster. We’ll see if he gets a chance to play in Indy’s next game (Saturday).
- The Vikings just got a rare mid-training camp addition that could very well be a starter in their secondary. Minnesota officially signed safety George Iloka on Wednesday, after the Bengals “shockingly” cut him earlier in the week:
Whoa. Free-agent safety George Iloka is on his way to Minnesota, and it appears likely he signs with the #Vikings today, per @RapSheet and me. Mike Zimmer connection from #Bengals days. One of the NFL’s best defenses about to get even better?— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 22, 2018
- Matthew Stafford was asked about his legacy and playoff wins on Tuesday, and this was his immediate reaction to the question:
Stafford's reaction when asked about QB Winz today. pic.twitter.com/5gW0fODGjH— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) August 21, 2018
Lions Wire has more on Stafford’s presser and why the quarterback isn’t currently interested in his own legacy.
- Matt Patricia is a big fan of Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy:
Matt Patricia on if this is a good time to face Gerald McCoy: It's a real good time, unless you're the right guard— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 22, 2018
- REMINDER: This week’s preseason game is nationally televised on CBS. Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Bruce Arians will be on the call (no local broadcast team).