Notebook: Routt works out for Lions, an impressive road statistic and Stafford the swift

Posted Nov 9, 2012

The Lions hosted former Raiders and Chiefs cornerback Stanford Routt for a workout Friday.

The Lions hosted former Raiders and Chiefs cornerback Stanford Routt for a workout Friday.

The Chiefs released Routt, 29, earlier this week, less than a year after signing him to a three-year, $18 million contract before the season.

Routt, 29, has good size (6-1, 195) and is known for his physical play. He started the first seven games of the season for the Chiefs, making 21 tackles and intercepting two passes. He had 10 interceptions in his first seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

The Lions have used eight different starting combinations in their secondary this year and Routt would add more depth at cornerback.

Chris Houston, Jacob Lacey and rookie Jonte Green are currently the Lions’ top three corners, with Drayton Florence expected to come off short-term injured reserve next week. Alphonso Smith is the team’s fourth cornerback.

When asked about the corner following Friday's practice, Lions' defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said that at this point, he doesn't know a whole lot about him.

“I’ve seen him on tape through the years. He played at Oakland when I was at Kansas City when he came in there and, you know, he’s a big corner and can play man-to-man.

"That’s about all I know right now.”

Thursday, via Twitter, WXYT radio host Jamie Samuelson threw out a terrific statistic regarding the Lions record on the road over the last decade. It was an amazing statistic, really

His tweet read: Lions are 9-6 in their past 15 road games. They were 9-70 in their previous 79. #Mildimprovement.

Mild is a bit of an understatement there.

As the Lions get ready to head on the road for the sixth-time in their first nine games this season, it’s worth mentioning that the Lions are favored on the road for the second time in as many weeks.

The obvious reasons for the improvement over the last 15 games is a better roster and better coaching, but Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says having the right kind of players, especially the right kind of quarterback, can make all the difference on the road.

“I think you’re a good team when you’re on the road if you don’t get affected by crowd noise and things like that,” Schwartz said. “A lot has to do with your quarterback and (Matthew) Stafford and all the quarterbacks that we’ve had here, Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton, those guys that have been involved in winning games on the road didn’t let those things affect them particularly over the last year and a half, two years, whatever it’s been."

The fact that the Lions have proven over the last year that they’re never out of a game on the road, no matter the deficit (i.e. at Dallas and at Minnesota last year), makes a difference, too.

“But the most important thing when you’re on the road is just having good players that go well in a scheme and that have good roles and doing those kinds of things. That’s the most important thing.

“I think it helps us that when we have gotten down that we know that we can catch up, we know that we can get stops on defense, we know that we can score on offense. And I think that makes a difference. That belief makes a difference when you’re on the road.

"It’s very easy when you’re on the road to get down a score or get down two scores and be out of the game at that point and we find a way to keep on fighting and finish those games. A lot of it’s because of the confidence of the players that we have on the field.”

What do Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III have it common?

Give up?

They're the only quarterbacks in in the NFL to have at least three rushing touchdowns this season.

Even backup Shaun Hill knew the answer to that one when asked in the locker room Friday.

Stafford has three rushing touchdowns on the season, which matches all the rushing touchdowns he had in his previous three seasons in the league.

Griffin III has six, Luck has five and Newton four. All three of those players ran to the 40-yard at the combine in 4.5-seconds or less. Griffin III ran in the 4.3-range at the combine.

Stafford did not.

While Stafford certainly gets more accolades for his arm strength than his running ability, he’s proven he’s not afraid to take off and make a play, especially around the goal line, and it’s become another thing teams have to be conscience of in the red zone when playing the Lions.