Found August 11, 2013 on
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz liked the play of his special teams in the Lions first preseason game.
Schwartz especially praised the punt team after the 26-17 win Friday night over the New York Jets.
The Lions rookie punters averaged 43.5 yards in splitting six kicks and each landed one inside the 20-yard line. The Jets returned only two for a combined 19 yards.
Sam Martin, a fifth-round selection in the NFL draft, also kicked off three times in the first half. His performance included a 54-yarder on his first attempt.
''I thought I had been hitting the ball pretty good in practice,'' Martin said Sunday. ''To go out there and take the pressure off my shoulders and start like that, I felt a lot more comfortable and relaxed.''
Blake Clingan is in camp with Detroit, which used punter Nick Harris for most of last season.
It's not certain if Martin will still be used for kickoffs - he's been filling in while placekicker David Akers recovers from groin surgery - but the rookie won't mind.
''I would love to,'' Martin said. ''I like kicking off.''
Martin had 45 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs during his senior season at Appalachian State and was a Football Championship Subdivision All-America selection. He averaged 45.9 yards per punt and made seven of 10 field-goal tries.
Schwartz also noted the performance of the coverage unit, which got a boost from several long kicks.
''It's a lot easier to cover when they're hitting the roof with those punts and kickoffs,'' he said. ''It gave guys time to get down there and cover.
''We were in the bottom in just about every kickoff category from last year from kicking, touchbacks and depth and things like that. Same with the punter. It looks like we'll be much improved in both of those positions.''
The Lions travel to Cleveland on Thursday and open the regular season Sept. 8 at home against Minnesota.
Notes: The Lions signed cornerback Myron Lewis on Sunday and he was on the field with the team. Lewis played eight games and had six tackles last season with Tampa Bay but was waived on Thursday. ''Sometimes things just don't work out,'' the 2010 third-round selection said. ''To have a fresh opportunity and clean slate is great.'' His arrival adds depth to a secondary that was missing three cornerbacks and safety Louis Delmas for Friday's preseason opener. . Some players appeared to slip on the new artificial surface at Ford Field during the opener, but Schwartz wasn't concerned. He said he doubts the turf will be an issue once the rubber crumbs settle on the field. . Receiver Nate Burleson wore braids when camp opened but his hair was closely cropped when he took the field Friday night. A poll of 12 teammates prompted him to visit a barber.
BEST OF MAXIM
Matt Willis made some acrobatic catches in the Detroit Lions preseason opener, forcing him to recall his ninja past.
Willis has spent six years in the NFL as an unaccomplished wide receiver/special teams player.
Please click here to read this story
The post Former aspiring ninja impresses Detroit Lions appeared first on Players View.
A lot of folks are going to be talking about a lot of things after the Detroit Lions defeated the New York Jets in both teams’ preseason debuts, but one of the lesser subjects will obviously be Detroit Lions rookie kicker Havard Rugland. I wish to give the young man his due on this page.
Rugland worked the second half, relieving David Akers, and playing in his first organized...
The Lions disappointed their fans again last season. They missed the playoffs but CJ set a receiving record because they were always behind. There are a lot of players that need to step up this season. Here's a three step drop from the first preseason game. Step 1 - The offensive line, especially Reiff, did pretty well. The Jets don't have a great pass rush but they...
Lions kicker Harvard Rugland (AKA ‘Kickalicious’) earned an NFL tryout with the Lions because of this video. He took advantage of this opportunity in his preseason debut last weekend when he went 2-2, connecting on field goals from 49 and 50 yards. But via Peter King’s MMQB column, the most impressive part about Rugland might be the words coming out of his mouth rather than...
Is a racial slur used between friends still a racial slur? A couple of players in the Detroit Lions’ locker room are, somewhat inadvertently, putting that question to the test.
The relationship between tight end Tony Scheffler and safety Louis Delmas, a friendship which dates back to their time together at Western Michigan in 2005. Scheffler spoke very highly of Delmas and...
Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland, better known as “Kickalicious” got some great English lessons from the likes of Method Man, Raekwon the Chef and Old Dirty Bastard as he prepared for life in the United States.
That little tidbit about Rugland was shared to the Detroit Free Press by teammate Rob Sims:
The first day we’re hanging out in the hot tub, right?” Sims said. “I’m...
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Its not easy to keep track of all the defensive backs who have made their way into the Detroit Lions lineup in recent years.
Injuries and mediocre results led to six different cornerbacks and six different safeties getting at least one start just last season.
Cornerback Chris Houston, in his fourth year with the club, has seen it all.
Ive probably played with...
For the last two seasons, the Detroit Lions backfield has been a carousel of backs as ineffectiveness and injuries took their toll. While Joique Bell finally added a little burst to the backfield last season, Mikel Leshoure continues to disappoint. At the start of free agency, Detroit set out to fix their backfield problem with the addition of free agent back Reggie Bush. The Lions...
Lions rookie cornerback Darius Slay may need to brush up on his NFL trivia. Like, the most basic of league knowledge.
Green Bay's Lambeau Field is arguably the league's most famous stadium. Housing the Packers, one of the league's all-time greatest franchises, the pigskin cathedral has been standing since 1957. That's a solid 34 years before Slay was born, so maybe...
If you’ve been around Detroit Lions training camp already this summer, you know it’s a make or break season for the Motor City’s NFL team. The NFC North runs through the Green Bay Packers, and both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings have the potential to be 10 win teams again.
A year after Coach Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew signed contract extensions, they find themselves...
Detroit Lions wide receiver Matt Willis, who is in contention for the final receiver spot, participated in American Ninja Warrior during the NFL Lockout while he was a member of the Denver Broncos.
Despite finishing the course, he swears he is not a ninja.
Yes, it was only the first preseason game but we still learned a few things. Here are the five most important things we learned:5. Rex Ryan doesn't have time to watch the offenseNow, that could explain a whole lot. When asked about the interception Mark Sanchez tossed in the first quarter, the head coach replied "he never saw it"? Does that philosophy apply to...
The PGA season is winding down to an end while the NFL season is getting ready to crank up. For the fourth time in five seasons, a new champion has been crowned in the last major of the PGA tour of the season, the PGA Championship. Jason Dufner experienced a fantastic week at Oak Hill but was it really Jason Dufner or was Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford actually playing...
Ziggy Ansah looked like a natural in his exhibition debut, when the rookie defensive end picked off Mark Sanchez's screen pass and took it back for a touchdown.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz wasn't at all surprised.
''I know a lot of people were looking at us sideways when we drafted a guy that didn't have a whole lot of experience,'' Schwartz said after...