GM Martin Mayhew was able to sign linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant for $3.25 million and $3 million, respectively. Tulloch and cornerback Eric Wright were both signed to one-year deals.
“We knew we had to address the linebackers and secondary, but we didn’t want to jump out on Day 1 and be on somebody’s door step,” he said. “We felt like the market would come to us, and it did. I would like to have signed Stephen Tulloch to a multi-year deal and Eric Wright to a multi-year deal. Those guys wanted to do a one-year deal. They felt like there’d be a better market for them next year. So we signed them for a year and we may be able to address that before the season is over or shortly after the season. We will try to get them locked up.”
–Coach Jim Schwartz had Tulloch playing on the outside the first couple of practices, keeping DeAndre Levy in the middle while Tulloch gets familiar with the terminology.
“I know I will be back in the middle soon enough,” Tulloch said.
Sure enough, he was back in the middle on Saturday. Schwartz will continue to give both reps in the middle.
–CB Chris Houston picked the wrong year to be an unrestricted free agent. Not only was the market flooded and the time frame condensed, it was also top-heavy in cornerbacks. Still, signing back with the Lions (two-year deal) didn’t seem like a bad consolation prize.
“There’s no bitterness about anything,” he said. “It all worked out to the best of its ability and I am ready to get back to business. You always want to see what’s out there for you, but I knew the Lions are up and coming. I’m familiar with the coaches and the scheme, the players and the town. In the end, I wanted to be somewhere I am familiar and comfortable.”
–OG Rob Sims was pressed into emergency duty at right tackle at practice Saturday. To say it didn’t go well would be an understatement. He lasted one play. DE Willie Young blew past him almost before he left his stance. Offensive line coach George Yarno immediately told him to go back to guard.
–WR Demario Ballard has raised some eyebrows. An undrafted rookie from Western Oregon, Ballard is 6-6, 220 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.55. He caught everything thrown to him the first couple of days, but this is a former basketball prospect who only started playing organized football in 2006. He would be a good candidate for the practice squad.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We are here to win games. We’re here to be productive. There is no need to talk about it. It’s time to stop talking about winning; it’s time to start winning.” — GM Martin Mayhew on the national buzz surrounding the team.
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