We touch on these topics and more in this week’s mailbag, featuring your questions.
Remember, the mailbag is only as good as the questions you ask. Have a question for next week’s mailbag (they run Fridays in season), either email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “mailbag” or on Twitter @mikerothstein.
No on to your questions:
@oobeau78 from Twitter asks could you see Lions trading Mikel Leshoure before the trade deadline?
MR: Could I see it? Sure. Will it happen? Tough to say. While it is kind of obvious Leshoure does not fit into Detroit’s current game plan, we’ll see if he’s active this weekend against Cleveland. It would be a surprise, at this point, if Theo Riddick played Sunday and if Leshoure isn’t active, it would leave the Lions with two running backs, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.
Of course, the one time Leshoure was active this season against Washington, he did not play, but if he is active again and then doesn’t play again, it would be pretty obvious it would take a lot of injuries for him to see the field at all. If that ends up being the case, then maybe Detroit looks to deal him. He’s a player who, at this point, might benefit from a change of scenery.
@yxeguy from Twitter asks Have the Lions practiced any packages without Calvin Johnson but with (Brandon) Pettigrew, (Joesph) Fauria and (Tony) Scheffler in some combination at the same time?
MR: Not this week, as Scheffler has not practiced and it would be surprising if he played Sunday. My guess is they have practiced three tight end packages before and you could potentially see them -- with a receiver and a running back -- in goal-line situations. But you won’t see that until Scheffler is healthy because at that point the third tight end becomes Dylan Gandy, an offensive lineman.
If Johnson were out again, it would be possible you could have seen that if Scheffler were healthy, but he is not and the Lions seem to like what they saw from receiver Kevin Ogletree in limited action. As far as seeing with my own eyes that they practiced a three tight end set, I can’t say I have, but that’s because we don’t get to see that much of practice.
Jeff Nafe (@nafej) from Atlanta asks Matthew Stafford has issues moving in the pocket. Never steps up, moves around, etc. Either takes a sack or gets rid of it. Agree?
MR: He isn’t great at it, Jeff. While his awareness is improving and when he needs to get out on the run to make a play, he does, there are times where he sometimes will move too soon out of the pocket and other times won’t necessarily feel pressure. This, though, is something that could improve with maturity. Remember, Stafford may be in his fifth year in the NFL, but he’s still just 25 years old so he is entering his best years.
Brett Makowski (@Brett_Makowski) from Twitter asks why haven’t we seen any of big Joe (Fauria) the last two weeks? Seemed to be quite effective in the red zone.
MR: That’s the thing, Detroit hasn’t had too many red zone trips the past two weeks -- hardly any against Green Bay last week. As I wrote about yesterday, Tony Scheffler’s likely absence will increase chances for Fauria to get involved in the non-red zone offense. His biggest issues now are consistency, blocking and even some route running. Remember, he’s still only five games into his career.