The Red Wings’ season is over. Life has began it’s freefall from the peak now that Jose Alvarez is back in triple-A. We need Lions minicamp to distract us.
Wednesday is day two of the Lions’ three-day minicamp, the last organized team activity until training camp. Nothing happens in these. They’re basic practices, designed to get everybody up to speed on the playbook and build some early familiarity. But when it’s the middle of June and bloodthirsty America is halfway between the Super Bowl and the start of the NFL regular season, everybody gets a little bit desperate.
I encourage you to devour all the articles about how Darius Slay made two interceptions in practice, or how Ziggy Ansah looked good in individual drills. You need to build up a false sense of knowledge. It leads to a false sense of confidence, and a Lions season wouldn’t be a Lions season without the team draining that out of you.
While you’re paying attention to meaningless ordeals for everyone not coaching or playing, here are three position battles to keep an eye on. You’ll read plenty more about these in this space during training camp.
Thaddeus Lewis vs. Kellen Moore for the No. 3 quarterback
My warnings last year that R.J. Archer was coming to get Kellen Moore were unfounded. Moore stayed on the team the entire year. R.J. Archer went from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the Jacksonville Sharks. Lewis, though, is quarterback who has spent time on an NFL roster. He even started for the regular-season finale for the Browns, going 22-of-32 for 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
He is a legitimate challenge for our third-string deity, who is likely fighting for his NFL career. In fact, Moore is the underdog right now.
Havard Rugland vs. David Akers for kicker
There is no way the Lions keep two kickers on the roster. That means Rugland a.k.a Kickalicious a.k.a Your Favorite Player a.k.a Videxio’s Finest is going to have to beat out a spastic but veteran kicker. It’s possible, considering how shaky Akers was last year for the 49ers, but Rugland has his own problems. Like putting on a football helmet. He’s clearly behind in the race. Root like hell for him. You need more Norwegian in your life.
Chris Greenwood vs. the pupu platter of cornerbacks
Last year people were feeding grapes to Greenwood and fanning him with palm fronds after the Lions selected him in the fifth round. He was supposed to have good physical traits but not know anything. Then he was compared to Brandon Carr, who started every game for the Cowboys, a team that was one game away from the playoffs.
Greenwood hurt himself and missed the whole season. With a year under his belt and the Lions’ corners roughly the same, the hype machine has gone through about 10 iTunes-style updates. Considering that 2012 sixth-round pick Jonte Green saw significant playing time last year, I expect nothing less that five interceptions from Greenwood this year. If he never sees the field, each and every one of you was lied to.