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Posts of category  "Lions"

Last Thursday night, the Detroit Lions held an event and Facebook Lived their unveiling of the brand new uniforms for the next era of Detroit Lions football. The last changes, other than the NFL brand switch to Nike, came after the dreaded 0-16 season. Those changes were minor, with slight tinkering to the lettering and cutting their black jersey alternate. These changes though ended up being a complete overhaul of the team we love. Here’s a link to the full photo gallery of them for reference before we start. And once you’re ready we’ll go over each combination and watch me try my best at being a fashion blogger.

Home (Blue)

Some things never really change. The font here has changed to match the new logo font, which I love. The last font was supposed to be slightly wild just like a lion, but I never really saw it as anything other than corny. The number on the jersey sees a change as well with the loss of black from the color scheme. It’s like the Lions are trying to erase all the memories from Harrington until today.

I think the best part about these new jerseys though is the William Clay Ford sleeve decal. Where the team has been wearing a patch on their chest since his passing, this cements him as part of their uniform for good. Say what you want about the Fords, but I think this is a great tribute to a top-notch owner.

The loss of black also changes the team’s helmet design. The three blue stripes on the top are fine and don’t really stand out as different than what they had before. The facemask, however, has changed to a silver, which I’m still on the fence about. I guess they really didn’t have too much to work with there, so I’ll let this one slide.

Away (White)

Okay, I’ll be honest, I did not see this one coming. The Lions’ white jerseys have always been one of, if not my favorite in the league. The way that the blue and white compliment each other is awesome. They’re bright but clean. They don’t overload my eye like the neon Seahawk uniforms, but they almost stand out the same. The silver outline on the numbering is just enough to contrast both the blue and black, but still, allow the blue to pop.

So now we get to the best part. BLUE PANTS. This sight rocked my world. I was so ready to be disappointed as they chose to stick with the silver pants and white jersey combo. The white jerseys have always been so cool to me, but I never liked the way silver pants looked with them. I was praying that Detroit would go with white on white to finally rid that ugly pairing, but this is even better. Seriously though, I don’t know why I never even considered blue pants. Maybe because I just had given up hope that the terrible silvers would ever go away. But these look awesome. As I said before, the Lions have an awesome blue, and showing it off as much as possible is good with me.

All this being said, a piece of me still wishes they came out with white helmets. Something about all white on top and color starting at the pants just makes a team look swaggy. And if NFL players wearing shooting sleeves has proved anything, it’s that the better you look the better you look making a bad play.

Color Rush (Gray)

The Detroit Lions wearing full muted gray and nothing but muted gray is what I never knew I always needed. I thought the color rush jerseys would just be a cop out and go all blue. (Because we all really need to see another fully blue color rush uniform.) But these are just crispy. Honestly, what might be the best part about these is nobody knows if they are home or away jerseys. Just think, how mad would you be if your team was wearing color rush jerseys and they had to wear their white ones instead. These have a chance of being on the field while another team wears a color, and not making the game unbearable for colorblind viewers.

The numbers on these jerseys pop perfectly. The choice of white with a blue outline looks great. Also, these jerseys show the sleeves better than any other. Both Lions and WCF written in white on the blue stripes shows very well. Without a doubt, these are going to be the jerseys flying off the shelf, and I don’t blame anybody for momentarily pausing from reading this to go buy one online.

Throwback (Turkey Day)

You know what, I’ve liked just about everything up until now. This really has nothing to do with the new design, because well, it’s not really new. These jerseys are now just considered alternates, which means that they might see the field more often than once a season. That alone makes me like these less than I previously did.

You know what these uniforms remind me of? The Thanksgiving game against the Patriots where Alphonso Smith was torched all day by Tom Brady and co. I’m sure the turkey was dry that year and my mom spilled the mashed potatoes on her way to the table with them too. I get that they’re traditional, but isn’t the Lions tradition what so many fans have a problem with? I thought mixing these jerseys up was a way of saying they aren’t that team anymore.

Another thing I don’t really like here is that the WCF decal is nonexistent. Hopefully, they still do something with it here, such as on the back of the helmets, because I think it’s a great touch overall.

I guess if I have to say something nice here I will say just a clean helmet is pretty cool. It’s something that isn’t really done nowadays, and that’s slightly surprising. But that’s all the love I’m giving to these uniforms because we’ve all seen this before.

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The Detroit Lions unveiled four new uniforms on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Ford Field. Video by Dave Birkett, DFP.

 

Ford Field offered a game experience for Detroit Lions games that was cheaper than the NFL average in 2016, but it didn’t enable the organization to hit the middle tier in attendance. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

DETROIT — The Lions are hard at work trying to improve the game-day atmosphere at Ford Field, adding enormous video boards and cellular data antennas and a lounge for millennials. Better entertainment, of course, comes at a price.

The Lions recently announced they were raising the prices of season tickets from $96 per game to $99. It’s a 2.8-percent increase, and it’s likely to keep them below the league average for prices.

The Lions’ average game ticket cost $85.71, which ranked 22nd in the NFL, according to data compiled by Statista.com, which services statistics for business clients. The average NFL ticket price was $92.98.

NFL ticket prices in 2016, according to data from Statista.com.

Of course, attending a game is so much more than just buying a ticket, particularly for families. For many, games include extra costs such as travel, parking and concessions.

They all wrap into the game experience, and it can be surprising how high those costs become. By Statista.com’s Fan Cost Index, the Lions had the 19th-most expensive game for a family to attend on average last season at $478.84. That’s below a league average of $502.84 and a league high of $685.10, belonging to the Chicago Bears.

Based on Statista’s other listed stadium prices, the Lions’ figure would allow a family that’s able to find four average-price tickets seated together to afford two beers, two soft drinks and eight hot dogs and have around $63 left for parking, transportation and other costs.

The average cost of taking a family to an NFL game in 2016, according to data from Statista.com.

The Lions offered a $5 average beer price in 2016 that also came well below the league average. The Lions tied with seven other teams for the cheapest option in the NFL, which boasts an average price of $7.38 and a league high of $10, found at San Francisco 49ers games.

Ford Field did make some up in other concessions. Detroit charged the second-most in the NFL for a hot dog at $6.25, up from a league average of $5.19. Only the Buffalo Bills’ $7 hot dogs cost more than the Lions’ did.

The Lions were also tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the second-most expensive soft drinks at $6.50. That’s above a league average of $4.86 and only trails the $8 options the Baltimore Ravens sell.

Ford Field’s $6.25 hotdogs are the second-most expensive kind found at NFL games behind those sold at Buffalo Bills events, according to data from Statista.com.

Of course, prices vary from city to city in general. Major hubs like San Francisco, Chicago and New York City tend to have higher prices for goods and services across the board than small and mid-sized markets.

“I’m very sensitive to what it costs to come to a game and want to make it affordable, because we do want our stadium to be full and we want it to create the home-field advantage,” Lions president Rod Wood told reporters last month when the organization unveiled its stadium renovation plans.

“So, we tried to be very strategic and not price ourselves out of the market but also price up where we could, based on demand.

The Lions finished 27th with an average attendance of 60,792, according to ESPN. On average, they filled 94.3 percent of available seats, which ranked 21st.

After those figures matched a team that went 6-2 at home, had a chance to win the NFC North in the final home game and reached the NFC playoffs, the organization set out to improve the experience within the stadium. They made plans to install video boards in each end zone, a 6,800-square foot lounge bar, improved wireless Internet and cellular data networks and additional premium seating. They’ll also unveil new uniforms next month.

The $100 million project won’t fund itself, but Detroit won’t do it all through increased prices either. The 2.8-percent hike is the lowest they’ve introduced in four years and just a fraction of the 7.8-percent jump from the year before. They’ve promised that around 30,000 seats will not see increases in price in 2017.

More fans in the stands is the goal. That would also slowly tap into the worst metric facing the organization in 2016: a next-to-last ranking in franchise value.

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What do you know, the Cleveland Browns are not on the schedule!

The NFL released the preseason schedule for the Detroit Lions on Monday afternoon. To start the year off, head coach Jim Caldwell will face his former team, the Indianapolis Colts. Week 1 of the regular season ended well for the Lions last year against the Colts, maybe they can have similar results.

The second week will be Lions fan’s first experience at Ford Field with the swanky new upgrades. Only two years removed from initiating the Ameer Abdullah hype train, the New York Jets return to witness the recently renovated stadium.

As previously rumored, the Lions will host the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in their dress rehearsal game.

It can be difficult to justify paying full price for a ticket to only see backup quality players, but almost three full quarters of starter action against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady seems reasonable. This could end up being the last time Brady makes it to Ford Field.

To cap it all off, the Lions will end their preseason action against the Buffalo Bills–a tradition that has been held since 2002. The fourth and final preseason game is riddled with practice squad players and undrafted free agents, but every so often, hidden gems can be unveiled. DE Kerry Hyder was a projected cut before the Bills game last year, only to register three sacks and secure himself a roster spot.

No firm dates or times have been set as to when the exhibition games will be played.

The regular season schedule is presumed to be announced sometime before months end. With all of the opponents already decided, it’s just a matter of determining when the games will take place. Outside of the Lions six divisional games, Detroit will play the entire NFC South and AFC North, along with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants.

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NFL star Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly are proud parents to healthy newborn twin girls!

Kelly announced the exciting news to Instagram on Sunday, April 9. She posted a photo with her husband at a restaurant celebrating their first night out as parents, Us Weekly reports.

“First night out as a mom and dad!” she captioned the snap. “Our babies were born March 31st and are healthy and happy! Thanks for all the well wishes!”

Kelly previously revealed in March that the couple planned on naming their twin girls Sawyer and Chandler.

The Detroit Lions quarterback and his wife met while attending the University of Georgia in Athens.

Stafford previously joked about the only downfall to fatherhood: “I’m assuming it’s going to be a big change,” he said. “Not as many naps, which is disappointing.”

Congratulations to the happy family!

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Taking a closer look at Detroit Lions NFL Draft prospect Reuben Foster.

The 2017 NFL Draft kicks off on April 27. Heading into the draft, we will be taking a look at which players could be possible fits for the Detroit Lions.

Here’s the rundown on Reuben Foster.

Twitter: N/A
College: Alabama
Position: LB
Hometown: Auburn, AL
Height and weight: 6’1″, 245 lbs.
Date of birth: 4/4/1995
Projected round(s): 1st Round
Combine rating: 6.4
40 time: 4.72
NFL comparison: Patrick Willis
Career college stats: 211 tackles, 23 TFL, 7 sacks, 9 passes defended

The Lions have a major need for a thumper at linebacker, and Foster is perhaps the most elite playmaker in the entire class at linebacker. A solid prospect who can play the pass and the run and go side to side to make a play while packing a punch, Foster would fit in from day one in Detroit and likely be a major solution

After an interesting debacle at the combine in which Foster was sent home, his stock may have slipped a bit. Still, many expect him to be a top 15 prospect if not possibly top 10 or top five. It might require some good fortune for the Lions to land him, leading Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press to proclaim in a recent chat that he would be the ideal player the Lions would love to see fall to 21.

“Reuben Foster. I highly, highly doubt he makes it to 21. There’s talk he could go to the 49ers at No. 2 (or they like him in a trade down, at least). But because of the position he plays and some of the off-field stuff, that would be the guy.”

Certainly, that would be the best case scenario for the Lions.

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The Detroit Lions got what most consider to be a fairly elite first season out of Taylor Decker in 2016 as a rookie, but the youngster wants to be even better in 2017.

That’s why he’s been training in Arizona with noted offensive line instructor LeCharles Bentley this offseason, and even bought a house there. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press caught up with Decker while he was in the state, and found out that the passion to improve burns even brighter for the now-second year player.

The Detroit Lions continue tackling free agency. Who else will they add? Make sure you’re in the loop —take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Lions newsletter now!

According to Decker, he’s only taking a short time to visit with his mom and dad, but after that, it’s right back to work in Detroit’s offseason program to continue to get better.

“I’m going to leave from here, I’m going to go see my parents for a couple days and then I’m going to go back up there just because it’s important to me,” Decker said. “It’s important to me to maximize all the time I have, especially because I want to build off of the foundation that’s been set.”

Last season, Decker was one of the top rookie tackles in football, but he’s not letting any complacency set in just ahead of his sophomore season in the league.

For his part, Decker said he’s pleased with a rookie season that didn’t come without its lumps. Before that six-game stretch without allowing a sack, Decker gave up two sacks each in early-season losses to the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers.

“Like I said, I think it was a good foundation to build upon,” Decker said. “That’s not what I want the pinnacle of my career to be. I want to keep improving, keep getting better. But yeah, I think it was a good foundation to build upon, got some good momentum going and some confidence.”

Jim Caldwell, when asked about Decker’s case at last week’s league meetings, thinks the sky could be the limit for his young tackle thanks to his attitude.

“He continues to work the way he’s working and we’ll see,” Caldwell said. “The key to a career is not just putting together one game or playing well for a quarter or two quarters or three quarters or four quarters in a season. But it’s year after year after year after year, and that’s yet to be determined with him. But I think he does have the right kind of work ethic to get that accomplished.”

Certainly, Decker’s maturity lends itself to the notion that the team will be getting an even better version of the player who already did well last season.

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Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is considered a slam-dunk first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft and could be an option for a Detroit Lions team that hasn’t produced a 100-yard rusher in years. (AP Photo)

Every week during draft season, MLive.com’s Nate Atkins will look at the mock drafts that came out during the week and provide feedback on the possibilities mentioned for the Lions in the first round.

Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Pick: Marlon Humphrey, Alabama CB

Nate’s reaction: It can be tough grading mock drafts prior to free agency because it’s unclear what a team’s needs are. The same goes for creating mock drafts, which is why I’ve been holding off. If the Lions find ways in free agency to bolster their front seven, I can get more on board with the idea of upgrading from Nevin Lawson to create a strong duo with Darius Slay. Humphrey seems like a safe pick with lots of skills in lots of areas. If he tests as well as he’s supposed to next week, he’ll certainly be something to consider. At this point, I think the Lions would need to like him significantly better than the pass rushers available to make this kind of pick.

Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton

Sporting News’ Vinnie Tyler

Pick: Taco Charlton, Michigan DE

Also mocked by: CBS Sports’ Rob Rang

Nate’s reaction: The pass rusher from down the road is going to continue to be a really intriguing option until the Lions do something, or anything, to boost the edge rushing that disappointed last season and now sees Devin Taylor headed to free agency. Charlton is considered a first-rounder pretty unanimously right now, with some placing him in the top 10 and some slipping him in at the end of the round. I sense this range will continue as teams try to balance the monstrous performances he had against Ohio State and Florida State with the inconsistency he struggled with at other times throughout the year.

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Larry Warford’s days as a member of the Detroit Lions could be numbered.

The Detroit Lions have an important decision to make as it relates to two offensive linemen, and the choice they must make in March is beginning to get clearer.

Last week, in a live chat at the Detroit Free Press, writer Dave Birkett was asked about what he saw regarding Larry Warford and Riley Reiff, and admitted the decision was actually quite simple.

The Detroit Lions start to take the next steps in the scouting process and free agency. Make sure you’re in the loop –take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Lions newsletter now!

According to Birkett, the Lions are likely to let Warford walk in free agency and hand the guard job to one of their young players on the roster due to the fact they have plenty of depth. Here’s Birkett’s answer to the question:

My expectation, after talking to people in the know, is that Warford will play elsewhere next year. It’s not that the Lions don’t value him as a player or want him going forward, it’s that he’s going to command a lot of money and the team has potential replacements waiting in the wings in Joe Dahl and Laken Tomlinson. The way rosters are constructed in the NFL, at some point you’ve got to let the young guys play.

That’s good news for names like Dahl, Tomlinson and Graham Glasgow, and better news for Warford, who might get the big contract on the open market he’s been craving.

As it relates to Reiff, Birkett said in a subsequent follow up question that the Lions aren’t likely to pursue a free agent guard, but rather look at bringing back the newly-converted right tackle thanks to the money situation and the tackle situation.

If they’re going to spend on the guard position, it’ll be on Warford. I just don’t see them doing that given the makeup of the team. Tackle is a different story. I don’t expect Reiff will command as much money as Warford, and the Lions’ only option right now at RT is Corey Robinson. I think there’s a better chance Reiff returns than Warford.

Obviously, the tea leaves have been pointing this direction on the surface for a while, but with Birkett putting that out in the public, it becomes all the more realistic ahead of free agency.

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The Detroit Lions might choose to address a big defensive need in the NFL Draft.

There are plenty of ways the Detroit Lions can choose to fill their need in the NFL Draft, and the planning stages for that are still a decent way off.

Still, the moves Detroit will make with the 21st pick in April are beginning to come closer into focus. In a chat on Thursday, Detroit Free Press writer Dave Birkett said that as it stands now, he believes the Lions will be looking to help the pass rush out most of all when they are on the clock.

The Detroit Lions start to take the next steps in the scouting process and free agency. Make sure you’re in the loop –take five seconds to sign up for our FREE Lions newsletter now!

Here’s Birkett’s take, directly from the chat:

In the draft, I can’t give you a name right now, but I’d guess it’ll be a pass rusher right now.
Later on, Birkett went on to say that the reason for this is because where Detroit picks might be considered to be a good place to find a defensive end. There could be plenty of names, from Taco Charlton, Derek Barnett and Charles Harris — to pick from.
The draft is a long ways away and I’ve just started getting into some of the personnel right now, but 21 to me could be a sweet spot for a DE in the first round. Taco, Barnett, Charles Harris, I think there could be somebody that that fits what the Lions need.
Considering how much the Lions struggled to rush the passer last year, the fact that they could look to fill this need with a young player should be music to Lions’ fans ears.

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