The Detroit Lions concluded their offseason workout programs, and barring someone getting in trouble or a new contract for a player, the next time you will hear anything substantive out of Allen Park, Michigan, will be when training camp begins in August.
And with minicamp over, you've got a bunch of questions. I've got answers. To ask questions of the Mailbag, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask away on my Facebook page.
We'll have mailbags this weekend and next weekend, but not the first two weekends in July.
On to your questions.
@mikerothstein: Don't make them super high. Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy are the primary linebackers and Kyle Van Noy is still in a competition for the starting strongside spot with Tahir Whitehead. Even if Van Noy wins the job, it's a position based on situations. With so many teams lining up three-and-four wide receivers, the strongside linebacker often comes off the field in favor of a cornerback. Van Noy could make a mark as a situational pass-rusher this season and an early down run-stopper, but that's about it. He could be a starting situational player. That would actually seem like the most likely scenario.
@mikerothstein: Yes, I anticipate Theo Riddick having a role in the offense in 2015. It might not be the role he wants or expected after the 2015 season, but there is a place for him in Detroit. With Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah ahead of him, he might be the two-minute back, much like he was as a rookie. I don't think he would ever move strictly to slot receiver, even though it is something I would personally consider doing. He's essentially a receiver lining up at running back, and that's likely where he's staying. But make no mistake -- with 29 career carries and no rushes for more than 10 yards, when he is the only running back in the game, the Lions are tipping pass.
@mikerothstein: Kind of. I wouldn't base a major difference in play based purely on physical gains. There are a lot of players who transition from college to the NFL who look great and then can't play nearly as good as they look. And there is a reason bodybuilders don't transition to being fantastic NFL players. It's about more than the look of a player. It's 'can he actually play?' and with defensive linemen like Caraun Reid and Larry Webster, we won't really have an idea until August with pads. If Reid and Webster can become rotational players in their second seasons, that would be a big benefit for Detroit. The Lions likely need more from Reid right now than Webster because Jason Jones and Ezekiel Ansah have starting spots pretty secure at defensive end.
@mikerothstein: I don't know, but I'll have a post this week with some Lions explaining the oddest things they have ever signed. Not sure if a Spielman-signed bidet exists but hey, everyone can have goals.
Shawn from Facebook asks: If Kellen Moore wins the No. 2 QB job this year do the lions move on from Dan Orlovsky at the end of his current contract in favor of a cheap development option in a rookie? Dan is a nice guy but I still have nightmares about the 08 season.
@mikerothstein: It's possible. Expect Dan Orlovsky to be with the Lions, barring injury, for the 2015 season. If Kellen Moore beats him out this fall, though, Detroit could head in a different direction in 2016. It's possible that happens for 2016 even if Orlovsky wins the backup job for 2015. Moore has a longer and better contract than Orlovsky at this point, so it could be in the plans. I'll write this, though. I would still be surprised if Jim Caldwell ever goes into a season without an experienced backup quarterback again after what happened in Indianapolis in 2011. So until Moore gets in-game experience or a full season as a No. 2, there will be a quarterback with game experience on the roster.