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Thread: A RT Battle that could actually yield a player for Jets

  1. #1

    A RT Battle that could actually yield a player for Jets

    I did some looking this morning (slow work day so far) and the Detriot Lions actually have an interesting situation with their OTs.

    Their starters are Jeff Backus (LT) and Godser Cherilus (RT). Backus is 35 years old and I believe he makes $1.6 million this year (no idea about signing bonus.

    Behind these 2 are this years first round pick Rielly Reif (roster spot obviously safe) and 2 interesting young players in Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard.

    Fox was a 2010 4th round pick from Miami who has been injured his first 2 years. Hilliard is more of a "journeyman" but supposedly is over some maturity issues and has played well.

    IMO Fox would be great for us but he would need to be acquired in a trade and its doubtful that Detroit would be willing to part with a good young player, especially since Cherilus has been somewhat disappointing.

    That being said, Detroit has a LOT of salary issues coming up for 2013, and if Reiff can start at LT, and these 2 young guys can backup both spots, maybe backus gets waived in a salary dump?

    Below are 3 articles I found when I googled Jason Fox and Hilliard....

    Articles Online for Hilliard

    There were moments of doubt, lots of them. Looking back, Corey Hilliard can honestly say he almost gave up football.

    Maybe if he had another job lined up. Maybe if his wife and father hadn't convinced him otherwise. Definitely if the Lions hadn't rescued the offensive lineman off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad three years ago.

    "I was pretty close," Hilliard said, reflecting last week on his well-traveled journey. "It was my third year on the practice squad, and as a football player I don't think I had gotten any better. It was up and down, good year, bad year, so I was just pretty disgruntled, discouraged. Didn't think it was for me anymore. I was just ready to call it up."

    A sixth-round pick by the Patriots in 2007, Hilliard bounced from New England to Indianapolis to Cleveland in his first three seasons, appearing in five games with the Colts and getting cut four times.

    When the Lions signed him Dec. 9 with four weeks left in the 2009 regular season, Hilliard was staring at a mountain of debt and responsibility.

    That spring he got married and returned to Oklahoma State to finish his degree in education. He and his wife, Nichole, had their first baby, daughter Cydney, on Aug. 10, and nine days later he was cut by the Colts.

    "My first concern first and foremost was my wife and kid," Hilliard said. "I wanted to do right by them. I really didn't see football going in the direction that it was going. We had just got a house in Indianapolis, got cut a week later after we got the house. So I had to leave my wife with a new baby, go to Cleveland. She's at home by herself with a baby. I felt bad for her.

    "Got an apartment in Cleveland, moved all our (stuff) to Cleveland, and two months later I had to go to Detroit, she's stuck in Cleveland with the baby. Stuff's still in boxes. Now I'm in a hotel for the next month. She comes up for two weeks for Christmas. It was just crazy. Stayed at an extended-stay place, you got a little Christmas tree about 4 feet tall sitting on a desk. That's how we celebrated Christmas."

    Hilliard, 27, didn't play immediately with the Lions, but it didn't take long for him to see he might have an NFL future.

    His doubt started to wane as he joined the team's off-season program, and his confidence soared when he not only made the team in 2010 but dressed every game and made four starts at right tackle when Gosder Cherilus suffered a knee injury.

    When he returned after the lockout last year, Hilliard showed up in the best shape of his life, with 10 pounds of new muscle that made offensive line coach George Yarno double-check his roster.

    "I was immature (when I first got in the league)," Hilliard said. "I really didn't have the body of an NFL lineman. He told me at the end of (the 2010) year, 'You need to get stronger. You need to come back physically stronger.' Rededicated myself to the weight room, tried to get bigger; still working on that. With George, you've just got to grow up. You grow up or you won't be here."

    Yarno said Hilliard, who played in all 16 games last year and made one start at right tackle, is one of five tackles in the mix for a starting job now, though that seems like a longshot with Jeff Backus and Cherilus back as starters, and Jason Fox and rookie first-round pick Riley Reiff also in the hunt.

    "Everything Corey's done, he's done himself," Yarno said. "He's the one that made the commitment to get stronger, bigger, more physical. All those things, he's done over time because he's developed the work habits of an O-lineman in the NFL. He's really changed his body and his career because of it."

    While that might be so, Hilliard isn't taking anything for granted. Even after he got a few days worth of first-team reps at left tackle when Backus suffered a broken right thumb last week, Hilliard was discontent with his performance.

    "It's the same story for me every year," he said. "I'm fighting for a spot every year. They drafted Riley, he's a good player. They bring other guys in. I got to improve. All I can worry about is me. That's all I can do."

    Articles on Fox
    Here are some observations from that practice:
    -- Offensive tackle Jeff Backus was given the day off on Tuesday with tightness in his back so Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox split the first-team snaps at left tackle. Simply put, Fox looked outstanding matching up head-to-head with Willie Young, Lawrence Jackson and Everette Brown. Fox is moving very well, and while he admitted to general camp soreness, he appears be as healthy as he's been since joining the Lions.

    Offensive tackle Jason Fox has been the poster boy for that cliché his first two seasons in the league. It’s no secret that Fox has been injured for most of his career with the Lions. It's been hard to truly evaluate Fox over the last two years because of all the injuries. When he’s been healthy – like right now -- he's played well.

    Fox had a mild scare in June when soreness developed in his knee and he missed the team’s minicamp, but he hasn’t missed any training camp practices so far and the Lions are hopeful he’ll begin to fulfill some of the promise they had in him when they selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

    Fox missed Miami's Bowl game in 2010 so he could have surgery on a left knee that had been bothering him his senior year. The knee was never 100-percent in training camp that rookie season. He then broke a foot early in training camp last year and developed problems in his other knee.
    Besides a few bumps and bruises that all players feel around this time, this is the first training camp Fox has been healthy. He’s been getting reps on both the left and right sides and split first-team reps with Jeff Backus at left tackle during a team period in Monday’s practice.

    “He’s looked like we thought he would look,” Schwartz said of Fox after Monday's practice. “He’s been very consistent through camp; he’s playing right tackle, he’s playing left tackle. You know, he can get some snaps in at guard but he’s answered the bell every practice and that’s been a big thing for him.”

    Fox’s emergence early in training camp has allowed the Lions a lot of versatility with the way they use their tackles. Fox, rookie Riley Reiff and veteran Corey Hilliard have been alternating between both right and left tackle during training camp. The ability to be able to plug players into multiple positions along the line will only help the Lions in the long run.
    “Obviously if you’re taking first-team reps there’s pressure to perform, but you don’t really look at it as pressure,” Fox said. “You just want to go out there and play football and improve every day and master your craft and become as technically sound as possible

  2. #2
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    Interesting.

    I honestly don't think we're going to stand pat at the RT position. They tried to bring in Jeff Otah, which means they know we have a problem at RT. They're either waiting for roster cuts, or (hopefully) working out a deal with someone for a player.

  3. #3
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    A.B.W.

  4. #4
    Nice post. Have to hope Tanny is watching that situation unfold. Assuming Backus could transition easily to RT, he would at the very least keep Sanchez out of the hospital.

    Don't know anything about the younger guys, but if available they should definitely be brought in to challenge.

  5. #5
    I love how everything on our team is contingent upon what happens with other teams, and their players. What happened to us drafting and/or signing guys who can step in and play?

    Tanny, wake up, muchacho. The f**king season is starting in three weeks. WTF have you been doing since February?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Borgoguy View Post
    I love how everything on our team is contingent upon what happens with other teams, and their players. What happened to us drafting and/or signing guys who can step in and play?

    Tanny, wake up, muchacho. The f**king season is starting in three weeks. WTF have you been doing since February?
    Since february he drafted 3 players who will all contribute and/or start in the first 3 rounds and found 2 other players in White and Antonio Allen who should contribute as well.

    He needs to find a 2nd TE who can block and hopefully some competition at RT, lets hope we can do that in the next 3 weeks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgoguy View Post
    I love how everything on our team is contingent upon what happens with other teams, and their players. What happened to us drafting and/or signing guys who can step in and play?

    Tanny, wake up, muchacho. The f**king season is starting in three weeks. WTF have you been doing since February?
    I think he's been distracted by your Asian cuties postings.

    Tanny has teh yellow fever.

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    Eagle, no joke, but I was on the Lions website last night looking at their OT depth chart. Good job!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Borgoguy View Post
    I love how everything on our team is contingent upon what happens with other teams, and their players. What happened to us drafting and/or signing guys who can step in and play?

    Tanny, wake up, muchacho. The f**king season is starting in three weeks. WTF have you been doing since February?


    At this point, what the hell do you want the front office to do?

    What players are out there for Tanny to "wake up" for?

    Teams always consider training camp cuts and player movement and availability as teams are forced to trim rosters, this is a LEGITIMATE part of the personnell evaluation and movement process.

    Since February, they've drafted talent, signed players in FA, why does everybody overlook the moves the team has made?

    Since the RT position is everybody's favorite source in their *****ing, what players should Tanny have gone after? Everybody loves to complain, but very few offer their own solution to the problem. Anybody can *****, but if we're going to debate the issues, and there are issues, let's debate the options that could have been considered, instead of blindly *****ing about it?

  10. #10
    BTW, great thread, and great job Eagle.

  11. #11
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    Love the thought and the analysis but I just don't see the Lions waiving Backus to save a little cash.

    The Lions need to be very protective of Stafford who was injury prone his first two years.

    The Lions also think they are on the cusp of being an elite NFC team that is a Superbowl contender.

    You just don't cut your veteran starting LT to start an unproven rookie or a journeyman o-lineman who has yet to prove anything in their NFL careers.... especially the Lions entering into a year like this.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejet22 View Post
    Eagle, no joke, but I was on the Lions website last night looking at their OT depth chart. Good job!
    Thanks! I also looked at the Bills since they are now starting cordy glenn at LT, but they only have 3 quality Tackles really, which is probably why they let demetress bell go so easily.

    The other potential trade, and its fustrating because we could have signed him in the offseason is Athony Collins, the swing tackle on the bengals....not sure what it would cost though as he is young and pretty valuable to the bengals.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJet View Post
    Love the thought and the analysis but I just don't see the Lions waiving Backus to save a little cash.

    The Lions need to be very protective of Stafford who was injury prone his first two years.

    The Lions also think they are on the cusp of being an elite NFC team that is a Superbowl contender.

    You just don't cut your veteran starting LT to start an unproven rookie or a journeyman o-lineman who has yet to prove anything in their NFL careers.... especially the Lions entering into a year like this.
    Fair enough, and IMO thats actually better. I dont see how fox could be cut, but hilliard could be a guy we bring in who can challenge and eventually start at RT as well....

  14. #14
    I think Borgos point is that we knew after last season that RT was a problem spot and the only attempt to fix it was the failed trade for Otah in late July.

    Tanny was very aggressive in fixing the hole at safety and addressing issues like DL and WR depth.

    now we're backed up against the wall because Hunter still sucks, Howard is not ready/not good enough, and we have to depend on a team cutting/trading a starting-caliber tackle in the next 2 weeks.

  15. #15
    Backus is definitely staying this year in Detroit. Next season, who knows. But I'd definitely be interested in either of the players the OP discussed. It's a long shot but worth investigating.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Since february he drafted 3 players who will all contribute and/or start in the first 3 rounds and found 2 other players in White and Antonio Allen who should contribute as well.

    He needs to find a 2nd TE who can block and hopefully some competition at RT, lets hope we can do that in the next 3 weeks.
    From your keyboard to Yahweh's ear. Personally, I'm not feelin' it (no pun).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordy View Post
    I think he's been distracted by your Asian cuties postings.

    Tanny has teh yellow fever.
    LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Ray19 View Post


    At this point, what the hell do you want the front office to do?
    Not now, then. Point was that he had plenty of time since the end of last season to fill in at least some the gaps. I don't think he's done very much.

    Guess you think Tanny has done a fine job and we're set to go with his moves, or lack thereof?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtstar View Post
    I think Borgos point is that we knew after last season that RT was a problem spot and the only attempt to fix it was the failed trade for Otah in late July.

    Tanny was very aggressive in fixing the hole at safety and addressing issues like DL and WR depth.

    now we're backed up against the wall because Hunter still sucks, Howard is not ready/not good enough, and we have to depend on a team cutting/trading a starting-caliber tackle in the next 2 weeks.
    Thanks, DS.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtstar View Post
    I think Borgos point is that we knew after last season that RT was a problem spot and the only attempt to fix it was the failed trade for Otah in late July.

    Tanny was very aggressive in fixing the hole at safety and addressing issues like DL and WR depth.

    now we're backed up against the wall because Hunter still sucks, Howard is not ready/not good enough, and we have to depend on a team cutting/trading a starting-caliber tackle in the next 2 weeks.
    Look, everything you said is true, and by no means am I singling you/your post out, but thats part of the problem on the board lately.

    Sure this is a place to vent, but it should also be a place for very detailed Jets information. Sure Tanny F'd up, but do we really need to constantly rehash his firing after 2 preseason games? Do we need to start talking about new coach and GM candidates 3 weeks BEFORE the season starts? Do we really need to have 5000 debates about if sanchez is good or not?

    I think its more interesting to discuss actual fixes, roster moves, player production....then read any more tebow-vs-sanchez threads.

    Just my opinion...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Look, everything you said is true, and by no means am I singling you/your post out, but thats part of the problem on the board lately.

    Sure this is a place to vent, but it should also be a place for very detailed Jets information. Sure Tanny F'd up, but do we really need to constantly rehash his firing after 2 preseason games? Do we need to start talking about new coach and GM candidates 3 weeks BEFORE the season starts? Do we really need to have 5000 debates about if sanchez is good or not?

    I think its more interesting to discuss actual fixes, roster moves, player production....then read any more tebow-vs-sanchez threads.

    Just my opinion...
    Big props to eaglenj for bringing a "solution" thread to the board. Its
    tiresome reading the "re-hash" and "everyone sucks" threads after two
    pre-season games

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Ray19 View Post


    At this point, what the hell do you want the front office to do?

    What players are out there for Tanny to "wake up" for?
    I actually agree with you.

    Tanny blew it starting in February and the 5 months following.

    Edit: I will say I think he had a decent draft.
    Last edited by Jordy; 08-21-2012 at 10:52 AM.

  20. #20
    Nice find. Let us all pray.

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