In our first interview with another SBN blogger, I asked Sean Yuille of Pride of Detroit if he would consent to answering five of my ignorant and completely foolish questions. Because he was preoccupied from Tatum Bell stealing his bags, I was able to fire off five in rapid succession.
Check out his answers after the jump!
DtF: How 'bout that Rudi Johnson signing? How do you see the depth chart shaking out with Kevin Smith and also seemingly in the running for the starting job?
SY: Rudi Johnson's signing means Tatum Bell is gone. Johnson will take over as Kevin Smith's backup and may be able to eventually compete for the starting job if he can stay healthy and if things don't go well with Smith. Bell had a terrible preseason, so it makes sense that the Lions were in the market for his replacement. They didn't feel that anyone on their roster could be an NFL backup, so Rudi Johnson was brought in to occupy that role.
DtF: Who is the Lions' best player? They seem to have some sneaky talent, but from an outsiders' perspective I'd be inclined to look at wide receiver. Is that fair?
SY: Offensively the wide receivers are the best players without a doubt. Obviously I'm talking specifically about Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Roy has proved that he is a dominant receiver in the past, and I have a feeling Calvin will be just as good if not better than Williams this season. If C.J. can avoid injuries then he has a chance to become an elite WR very quickly.
On the defensive side of things Ernie Sims is the best player by far. He flies around the field and gets to the ball quickly. In one preseason game it seemed like he was in on every play, and thankfully that usually is the case in the regular season as well. I expect he'll get to know Matt Ryan pretty well by the end of Sunday's game.
DtF: Were you shocked by any of the cuts? I'm a big fan, so I was surprised to see the Lions let him go for a song.
There were a few moves that surprised me when the final cuts were made. I didn't expect the Lions to keep as many tight ends as they did and also didn't expect them to only keep 2 running backs and 4 wide receivers. They have since added a running back that was cut by San Diego and as we already discussed, Rudi Johnson, but initially it was surprising to see only Kevin Smith and Tatum Bell on the depth chart at running back.
I was definitely surprised to find out that offensive tackle Jonathan Scott had been cut as he seemed like a solid backup. Up until late last week I would have told you the same thing about Buster Davis as he was impressive in the preseason. However, news came out a few days before the cuts were made that Davis probably wasn't going to make the team due to only being able to play one position. I don't necessarily agree with that being a reason to cut him, but they did so and now Davis is already a Colt. We'll see if that decision comes back to bite the Lions in the future.
DtF: Is there any chance get deposed as the starting QB for the Lions sometime this year?
SY: I suppose it's possible that Kitna could get benched late in the season if things aren't going well, but barring an injury he will be this team's starter through thick and thin for the first two months of the season. The reason for that is because is out until around the first week of October due to a thumb injury, and if anyone is going to replace Kitna it would be Stanton. was the backup during the preseason, but the Lions consider Stanton as their future QB, so he would be put in to prepare to become the starter if it came to that. I don't necessarily think it will, so I wouldn't expect to see anyone but Kitna out there unless an injury happens.
DtF: Will the Lions win this weekend? What's their record to finish the year?
SY: I do think Detroit will win on Sunday. If this game was going to take place later in the season I might be inclined to reconsider that prediction, but I think the Lions will do a good job of causing a few rookie mistakes in Matt Ryan's first ever official start. Detroit's pass rush has been solid all preseason long, and although those were only exhibition games, the starters were getting just as much pressure on opposing QBs as the backups.
As far as their record for the entire season goes, I originally predicted them to go 6-10. After seeing that they have improved since last season, I now believe they will end up going something like 7-9. They do have the potential to win a couple more games than that, but it's the Lions we're talking about here, so I'm not going to drown myself in that much Kool-Aid just yet.
Thanks to Sean for taking the time to answer my questions! You can find my answers to his queries at Pride of Detroit.