Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE HOGG  |  Last updated 8/10/13
DETROIT -- Rex Ryan has a way with words, and he had a simple summation about what Friday night's Jets-Lions game meant to the rookies on both teams. "I don't care who you are or what you've done, things changed when the lights came on tonight," Ryan said after Detroit's 26-17 victory. "Whatever you did in college, it doesn't matter. This is the man's league, and you have to step up and play." For the Lions, the spotlight fell on punter Sam Martin, who has to live up to the fact that the Lions went outside the box to draft a special-teams player in the fifth round. It would have been harder for him to get off to a better start; his first punt went 54 yards with more than enough hang time to force a fair catch at the Jets 10. Martin's second punt wasn't as successful -- a short kick that bounced backward for a 31-yard net -- but he looked much better on his third try, pinning the Jets inside the 20 again with another high-arcing kick. He also put three kickoffs through the end zone in as many tries, meaning the Lions have a solid kickoff specialist if David Akers beats out Havard Rugland for the placekicking job. Reggie Bush isn't a rookie -- this is his eighth season -- but his Lions debut might have been the most important of the night. Bush showed his open-field running skills, hurdling a New York defender on his first carry, and also opened things up in the passing game. "It was kind of awesome to see a cornerback drop Calvin (Johnson) to pick up Reggie coming out of the backfield," Lions quarterback Matt Stafford said. "Nobody ever drops Calvin for anybody, but they came to get Reggie and it opened Calvin up. That's the offense we envision here. It's kind of sweet." Bush was certainly encouraged by his first night at Ford Field. "I thought it went as good as it can go in the first preseason game," he said. "We did some things that we can learn from, and we did some good things. That's what you want from the preseason." Other than Rugland, who has become an instant cult hero, Bush was the most popular newcomer in a Detroit uniform. He got the team's second-loudest ovation during pregame introductions, but he dismissed suggestions that his cheers might have even matched Johnson's. "I don't know about that, but I definitely felt the excitement and felt the energy in here -- it was great," he said. "That was just the first time I've had my name introduced here. I'm looking forward to many more." There was one familiar face making his NFL debut on the other sideline: Detroit native and Michigan alum Will Campbell. Campbell, who played high school football just a mile away at Cass Tech, saw limited action for New York at offensive guard. Campbell played both ways at Cass Tech, but was recruited to Michigan as a defensive tackle. During his sophomore season, he moved back to the offensive line and even played fullback in goal-line situations, but finished his career on defense. Campbell was a sixth-round pick for the Jets, who have moved him back to the offensive line. He's currently listed third on the depth chart at right guard, but has a chance to make the team as the backup to former Lion Stephen Peterman. UNHAPPY WITH THE FIELD: Friday night was the first game played on Ford Field's new FieldTurf surface, which replaced a similar field put down when the stadium opened in 2002. As usual, that led to the odd spectacle of players kicking up pieces of black dust as they ran -- the ground-up tires and other waste rubber that forms the base of the turf. It will be a familiar sight this season because the rubber needs several games to settle into a permanent position. The new field, however, got a failing grade from one member of the Jets, wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Holmes, who is sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a Lisfranc fracture to his left foot, blasted the FieldTurf after seeing rookie quarterback Geno Smith leave the game with an ankle injury. "WE NEED GRASS FIELDS NO MORE FIELD TURF," he tweeted from his @ToneTime10 account, hashtagging the tweet with both NFL and NFLPA. Ryan said that he wasn't sure of the extent of Smith's injury, which will be evaluated after the team returns to New York on Saturday morning.
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