Defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, a free agency addition to the Lions roster that basically everybody loved, was a guest on the show “Up and Adams” on Friday morning. Gardner-Johnson spoke to the show’s host Kay Adams about signing with the Lions and his interactions with the staff and players of his new team. You can watch video of the entire 10-minute segment on YouTube.
Early in the interview, reference was made to the pre-existing relationships with Detroit Lions coaches Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn from Gardner-Johnson’s time with the New Orleans Saints. From the looks of leaked footage of an upcoming Family Feud episode (alongside a sharp-dressed Amon-Ra St. Brown) though, it seems Ceedy Deuce is building strong new bonds with his Lions teammates. It’s great to see these kinds of connections between the players on offense and defense, and who knows? Maybe St. Brown really could step into the secondary for a snap to St. Clown someone.
When looking at the newly-released schedule, Gardner-Johnson said emotionally it will hit hard to see the Chiefs in Week 1 after just facing them in the Super Bowl with the Eagles, but he’s “still going to bring the same intensity” and “kinda (wants) to beat them” to “spoil the homecoming.”
To wrap up, Adams brought out a fun graphic “Smack Talk with CJ-GJ” and asked him to give some freestyle trash talk on the spot about two subjects. First, knowing Gardner-Johnson is a former Florida Gator, she asked him to craft some smack about the University of Georgia’s football program. For the second topic, Adams went with cheesesteaks. Although he said he doesn’t like them and the hype for them in Philadelphia was too much, Gardner-Johnson could only say that they are “terrible.”
For the final topic, Adams got nothing but laughs out of her guest targeting Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. Gardner-Johnson’s immediate reply was that “(Thomas) knows what time it is, and i’m not going to say nothing about that.” For those who don’t remember, Thomas was fined by the Saints in 2020 after punching his then-teammate Gardner-Johnson at practice:
Both guys are VERY competitive and stuff happens. But those there thought Thomas was in the wrong, and he didn't immediately apologize, which may have contributed to the punishment.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 11, 2020
Pressed for more, all Gardner-Johnson was willing to give host Kay Adams was a smile and a suggestion to “call Sean (Payton)” if she wanted the details. It’s a fun segment, so give it a watch on YouTube.
Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- The Lions public relations account posted a fantastic thread of images with facts about the team’s undrafted free agent rookies:
The @Lions announced today that they have signed the following undrafted free agents:@USFFootball OL @bradcecil74, @oregonfootball WR @ccota_, @IlliniFootball LB @isaacdarkangelo and @PackFootball DL Cory Durden.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/9vR0jqztKp— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) May 12, 2023
- ESPN’s Mike Clay rated the Lions’ interior defensive line group near the bottom of the league (26th out of 32). They are somehow not the worst in the NFC North in Clay’s view (Packers at 16, Vikings at 19, Bears at 30), though.
- The team posted a photo gallery of behind the scenes shots from rookie media day. There are some really good ones in there.
- These videos of players answering a posted question as they walk by a camera in the halls at Allen Park are so fun:
A few wise words from Coach Randle El pic.twitter.com/t7vxSHrMSl— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 12, 2023
- Nearly 90 minutes of Joe Kania and Erik Schlitt are available on the latest episode of the Detroit Lions Breakdown podcast. On the newest episode, the guys talk about the schedule and the draft class.
- Even the folks at the SB Nation mothership site are pumped up about the Lions facing the Chiefs:
- Here is a great nugget that Erik noticed. Dre Bly was drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Rams in 1999 and played there until coming to the Lions in 2003. Ray Agnew was in St. Louis for the final three seasons of his 11-year career, starting at defensive tackle for the Rams from 1998 to 2000.
Interesting tidbit from #Lions asst. GM Ray Agnew's presser.— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) May 13, 2023
When talking about veteran leadership/mentor roles with rookies, Agnew noted that he took on that role with Dre Bly (CB coach) when they were with the St. Louis Rams in 1999/2000.
Called him his "little brother".
- Ben Raven and Kyle Meinke from MLive went through the schedule and gave game-by-game predictions on how many the Lions will win. We won’t spoil it completely, but both of them are very optimistic about how this season will turn out and come close to what Erik and Jeremy thought.
- Big trade news from elsewhere in the NFC North: the Minneota Vikings don’t seem awfully interested in competing for the division title this season.
The #Vikings are trading three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Za’Darius Smith to the #Browns, sources tell me and @RapSheet.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 12, 2023
His reworked contract guarantees him $11.75 million in 2023 and he’ll be a FA next March. All negotiated by his new agent @ErikBurkhardt of @RocNationSports. pic.twitter.com/Iftx3m6BNr