Bad Blood Lingers Between Lions, Chiefs GMs
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–The Lions did their level best to downplay any bad blood between them and the Chiefs, even though it was GM Scott Pioli who accused the Lions of tampering before the 2010 season. The true feelings came out after the 48-3 romp. Lions’ GM Martin Mayhew refused to shake hands with Pioli afterward. As the two general managers approached the same elevator at the end of the game Sunday, Pioli called out to Mayhew and extended his right hand. Mayhew shook his head, turned his back on Pioli and walked into the elevator. The two then shared an icy silent ride down six flights.
–Because the Lions threw deep on a third-down play late in the game and went for a touchdown on the fourth-and-1, there was talk that the Lions ran up the score on the Chiefs. Lions coach Jim Schwartz dismissed the talk: “I take exception to running the score up,” he said. “I don’t think that was the case.”
–The screen pass used to be a weapon of choice for teams hoping to neutralize the ferocity of the Lions’ pass rush. Not so much any more. Tampa’s Ernest Graham is one of the best in the business at catching the ball out of the backfield. He had eight catches for 58 yards, but most came after the Lions had gone to more of a prevent style defense. Chiefs’ running back Dexter McCluster is a threat out of the backfield, as well, and he had four catches for minus-2 yards.
“The speed we have at linebacker now, they just eat that up,” defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. With Justin Durant (11 tackles) and Stephen Tulloch (three tackles, on fumble recovery) joining Levy (seven tackles), the overall speed of the defense has spiked considerably. “It’s more speed and they are ballhawks,” Schwartz said. “They go for the football. They don’t stay blocked.”
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