It’s says something about the expectations the Lions have in defensive end
Young has backed up those words this summer with a strong training camp up to this point.
The Lions are hoping that trend continues into the regular season this fall, and there’s no reason to think it won’t, after watching Young in Friday’s 19-17 loss to the Browns in the preseason opener.
Young, who started in place of
“I was coming out with the intent to have a tenacious attitude and to (be) very dominant,” Young said after the game. “When you have a chance to take those reps with the first team early on the first quarter, it means a lot.”
Young’s transition to an important contributor for this defense has been a three-year project in the making. Young came in as a seventh-round draft pick in 2010 and was admittedly immature and not ready for the type of work it would take to be a good NFL player his rookie year.
He turned himself into a limited contributor in 2011, but seems to have taken a giant leap forward this year. If the spring and summer are any indication of what’s yet to come, this could be a breakout season for Young.
“Obviously, this didn’t happen overnight,” Young said. “I look to continue to improve from this day forward.”
BELL CHURNS UP THE YARDS
Reserve running back
The scout told Bell that the NFL will always find talent, no matter where it might preside.
Bell said that was all he needed to hear.
Fast-forward a few years later and Bell was back at Ford Field, this time playing in his first NFL game with his hometown Lions. As fate would have it, Bell was named Friday’s player of the game after rushing for 89 yards on 16 carries (5.6 yards per rush).
That scout was right.
LACK OF PENALTIES AND INJURIES A BONUS
Injuries in the preseason are a big concern for coaches. The Lions may have lost their preseason opener to the Browns Friday night, but they didn’t lose any key pieces to injury. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after the game that there were a few bumps and bruises, but nothing serious on the injury front.
When it comes to penalties, the Lions played a nearly flawless game with only one (very questionable) 15-yard penalty for a late hit out of bounds by reserve safety
The Lions were without a number of key performers on defense, including starting defensive ends Cliff Avril and
Besides Avril and Vanden Bosch, the Lions were without running back
Young was excused from the game due to the birth of his child.