Thanks to leaked footage from the Detroit Lions media team, we now have some actual film from the second annual media skills competition from this past Monday (we had some pictures in a prior edition of Notes)! Just like last year, the team ran a fun contest between the beat writers and the team’s reporters to see who could rack up the most points doing things like fielding and kicking punts, throwing passes at a basket target, and general combine-style athletics events.
Just as they represented Pride of Detroit in 2022, our own Erik Schlitt and fearless leader Jeremy Reisman took to the field against crews from outlets such as the Detroit Free Press, MLive, the Detroit News, Woodward, and even the Lions’ own media folks. In the first iteration of this competition, Tim Twentyman from the Lions won last year. Who would be victorious this time around?
As promised, the team posted a video to their official YouTube channel with narration from competitior Dannie Rogers. At various points, you can get brief glimpses of our own Erik Schlitt (hoodie, hat, black shorts) and fearless leader Jeremy Reisman (in maroon shorts, so you can’t miss him):
In the video, we see the beat writers doing a passing drill to drop balls into a net at range, kicking field goals, fielding and catching punts, and the same “Splash Catch” water balloon tosssing game we saw Frank Ragnow doing at the Pro Bowl skills competition. How did our representation from Pride of Detroit do?
In what’s turning out to be a banner week for him, Jeremy showed us why he’s in charge here by winning the whole thing. Congratulations and thanks to all of the participants for providing the Lions fanbase with quality entertainment. Will Jeremy get a utility room nameplate at Allen Park now? We hope to see a photo of the sign if that happens, but now let’s move on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- Not only is Erik a master at special teams drills, he is fantastic at locating great video analysis of the Lions:
- A little over a week ago, Nick Shook with Around the NFL ranked the top ten coverage players using Next Gen Stats (emphasis in the original):
In order to qualify, players needed a minimum of 300 coverage snaps, 40 targets as the nearest defender and a catch rate allowed below expectation (meaning they’re consistently breaking up passes that were likely to be completions). Also, qualifiers had to have a negative targeted expected points added (a metric used to quantify how much an individual player impacts an opponents’ scoring potential and the most important metric used in this exercise), a tight-window percentage of at least 20 (15 for linebackers, due to the nature of their position as second-level run defenders and coverage defenders) and a maximum passer rating allowed of 80.
While no Lions defender from last year made the top ten, linebacker Alex Anzalone and free agent acquisition Cam Sutton just missed the list.
- I feel like this is going to get some usage in 2023:
- Jeremy spotted this very cool chart from Jason Fitzgerald at Over The Cap. Bottom Right = really good place to be. The horizontal X-axis shows next year’s projected cap space, so farther right with more cap space is good. The vertical Y-axis shows how many significant contibutors from last year are expected to be unrestricted free agents (read: about to become expensive if they do well) after the 2023 season, so lower is better:
The Lions are getting significantly better, have few valuable 2024 free agents, and a lot of spending money.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) June 15, 2023
- If you ever wanted to see up close how complex an actual NFL gameplanning call sheet looks, former quarterback Brad Johnson who started for the Super Bowl winning Gruden Bucs has you covered:
- Here’s a fun tweet from The Atheltic’s Nick Baumgardner. In these plays, you really see how incredible Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson are. In the first play, Jackson really gets moving laterally for a big guy. The defender that the Ragnow-Jackson double team is walling off to burst open a broad lane for Justin Jackson? That’s Pro Bowl nose tackle Dexter Lawrence. Then they do it again with Decker sealing off the second level. This offensive line is so good.
Lions 21p outside zone work with nice solo blocks vs safeties by Amon-Ra St. Brown.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) June 15, 2023
Detroit went to 1-TE OZ (also more 2 and 3TE duo) a lot more after it traded TJ Hockenson last year. https://t.co/KSFmo648AC pic.twitter.com/QZaeBFIOZ8
And to a serious present-day terror off the edge, Romeo Okwara:
And to a three-time Pro Bowl center who started more than a decade’s worth of games for the Lions in the 1980s and 1990s (including their last playoff win):
On Friday, it was Big V Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s birthday: