Finally, after what seems like decades of not paying attention to the big uglies up front, the Detroit Lions have apparently decided that they’re tired of being a one dimensional team that throws the ball almost every snap. Matthew Stafford setting a record last season for the most passes attempted is not a good thing, folks. It means you can’t run the ball worth a lick. The Lions haven’t had a offensive line that could push people around since the early nineties.
It had seemed apparent for a couple of weeks now that Lobstein wouldn’t be making the team, so the question was whether they’d be able to work out a trade or simply have to send him back (as they did with Jeff Kobernus and the Washington Nationals). It is a little bit surprising that the Tigers were willing to part with a quality catcher such as Curt Casali to facilitate this deal, but it’s a position of relative strength for the organization.
Although not the same player as in years past, Iginla’s presence would relieve a lot of the offensive pressure placed Detroit’s dynamic pair of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Imagine a line centered by Pavel Datsyuk and flanked by Johan Franzen and Jarome Iginla on wing. Scotty Bowman’s hall of fame ladened 2002 Red Wing team didn’t even have the luxury of throwing out a line with this type of talent.
The rookie, who has missed the past 21 games with a back injury, said he felt “no pain at all” after Monday’s practice, but coach Lawrence Frank denied reports that he would return for the Pistons’ next game.
“He’s not starting, nor playing,” Frank said. “He’s on course to get back, and we’ll just read it. It’s very encouraging what you see, but as much as you try to simulate it, practice isn’t an NBA game. He’s working hard, and it’s great to see him back on the court.”
“He’s a pro. There’s no question, he’s a pro. I mean, he’s really good … he’s a pro prospect,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said of Payne. “If he plays like that every night, they’re going to be hard to … they’re going to the Final Four if he plays like that. I think he’s their whole key for them to get to the Final Four. If he plays like that, they’re hard to beat. Very, very hard to beat.”
Beilein is trying to keep Morgan engaged and embracing the team’s success, despite his benching.
“At this time of year, he’s got to be the consummate team player and be ready, and there could be opportunities here in the next game where we need him for many minutes,” Beilein said. “So he’s just got to get ready this week. We’re behind him, and we support him and keep him going in the right direction.”