NOTEBOOK: Bentley vs. Cobb crucial matchup for Lions, Fox wanting to start and Suh vs. a new foe

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Second-year cornerback Bill Bentley has a tough task trying to contain talented Packers slot receiver Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb leads the Packers in receptions (21) and receiving yards (290) early on this season. He’s also scored two touchdowns for the league's third-ranked passing attack.

In his third season with Green Bay, Cobb is emerging as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL.

Bill BentleyCB Bill Bentley (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

In two meetings vs. Detroit last year, he had a combined 16 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown.

Sunday, in Green Bay, it’ll be mainly up to second-year slot cornerback Bill Bentley to try and contain the explosive Cobb.

"He’s an electrifying player," Bentley said Thursday of Cobb. "He makes plays and he’s a competitor. Me getting an opportunity to go against him is a great opportunity for myself. It’s a great challenge to find out how well I’m really doing in the is league."

Bentley’s had an up-and-down year so far, but has been playing well of late, and his matchup with Cobb will be one of the keys in the secondary for the Lions on Sunday.

"I just have to take advantage of the opportunity of playing against a great player like him," Bentley said.

"You never overlook or underlook your opponent, every week it’s a tough position, but he’s one of the better slot receivers in this league, and with the elite quarterback he has, he takes advantage of all the opportunities that come his way."

It’ll be up to Bentley to take advantage of his opportunities, too.


Jason Fox won the starting right tackle job out of training camp and he started Week 1 vs. Minnesota.

Only 15 plays into that Week 1 win, Fox injured a groin and hasn’t played since.

He's now back from injury and has been a full participant in practice this week, which leaves coaches with an interesting decision.

Do they continue to start Corey Hilliard at right tackle, or go back to Fox?

"Guys all understand it and they get kind of how it works," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "We make decisions on Saturday evenings as to who’s going to play and all that stuff. We had a really good dynamic through offseason and preseason, Jason played very well. Whatever we decide to do, we’re very comfortable with whoever’s out there."

Coaches obviously thought Fox gave them a better chance to win out of training camp, but do they still feel the same way after the team has won two of the three games Hilliard has started?

Fox did take some reps with the first team in the portion of Thursday’s practice open to the media, but head coach Jim Schwartz cautioned the media after practice not to read too much into what they see as the beginning of practice.

"I don’t have any comments on depth charts and stuff like that," Schwartz said when asked about Fox after practice.

"I’ll let you read in to or comment in on that. I’d caution you on just the stuff that you are watching in practice."

Fox, like any competitor, wants to be a starter again, and says he’s felt good at practice the last couple days.

"It’s always a good thing to be practicing and not standing on the sidelines," he said. "I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things and get into a rhythm again."

The Lions will decide on their inactive list 90 minutes before Sunday’s kickoff in Green Bay and that’s about the same time we’ll learn if Fox has won his starting spot back or not.


Ndamukong Suh will face a new test this week.

The Packers have done some shifting along their offensive line and T.J. Lang, not Josh Sitton, is expected to get the bulk of the work at right guard across from Suh.

"He's a dangerous player," Lang told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. "He's a guy they definitely rely on up front to create pressure for their defense. It's definitely going to be a challenge going up against him. ... Just get ready for a battle because you know he's a guy who's going to bring it play after play."

Suh said it’ll be a change facing Lang and not Sitton, but he’ll be up for the challenge.


Lions players and coaches are tired of  being reminded about the 22-game losing streak on the road to the Packers. But hey, it is what it is.

They're so sick of it, in fact, Linehan wanted the media to be sure they knew that it was possible to win in Green Bay.

"When I was in Minnesota, we went on the road and played there in the first round of the playoffs and won, so it can be done," he said with a smile. "It’s a tough place but it’s a great place to play football though. The tradition and all that stuff, our players are really looking forward to it."