LIONS INSIDER

Notebook: Warford says the game is starting to slow down; roster trimmed to 75

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Tim Twentyman takes a look at Larry Warford's increased knowledge of the offense, roster cuts, Michael Williams sidelined, practice report and more

The one thing rookie Larry Warford credits the most for still being in the mix for that starting right guard spot is his increased knowledge of the offense.

When Warford got to Detroit after the team selected him in the third round of the draft, his head was admittedly spinning.

Larry WarfordG Larry Warford (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

"A lot of that in the beginning had to do with how much I knew the offense,” Warford said. "I know the offense a load better than I did when we first started. That slowed me down when I didn’t know it.”

Warford was getting beat quite often early in camp and he says a lot of that was due to not knowing the offense, not knowing where his help was and just playing slow.

"Things are slowing down for me now,” he said. "I see a lot of blitzes. I see movement. I see everything. It’s helped me become a faster player. It’s just clicking for me now.”

Warford has certainly benefitted from the 106 reps he’s received through the first three preseason games more than any offensive lineman on the team.

"It tells me where I am as a player,” he said. "It shows me that I still have a lot to improve on and I’m grateful for that because I need something on my mind to motivate me to not become complacent.”

Complacency shouldn’t even be in Warford’s vocabulary. Not with Jake Scott and Dylan Gandy still very much in the mix to win that job.

"As far as who is going to be starting, I know as much as you do, really,” Warford said.

ROSTER TRIMMED DOWN TO 75

All teams were required to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

The Lions got to 75 with the release of kicker Havard "Kickalicious” Rugland, cornerback DeQuan Menzie, receiver Terrance Austin and tight ends Matt Veldman and Cameron Morrah.

"They’re always tough,” head coach Jim Schwartz said of cuts. "Guys have worked very hard and have put their whole heart and soul into trying to find a niche and contribute.

"It’s always difficult to say goodbye to those guys. I think if those guys all keep in mind the fact that they’re working to improve as football players and they do a good job at that then they’ll be in a better position when camp is over. But it’s always a very difficult time.”

WILLIAMS DISCOURAGED

Rookie tight end Michael Williams was a spectator at Tuesday's practice with his right hand in a cast and his arm in a sling after successful surgery on Monday to repair a broken hand.

It’s never a good time for an injury, but the timing of this one could have some ramifications on the final roster.

Do the Lions now keep four tight ends? Do they keep Williams on the active roster or designate him to short-term IR? Both questions we'll find out the answers to in the next few days.

"You just have to keep working and come in and do your treatment and who knows what can happen,” Williams said Tuesday. "Maybe the bone heals faster than other people. I just hope for the best.”

Williams said he’s trying to turn a negative situation into a positive.

"It gives me a chance to go back into the meeting room and go at my own pace,” he said. "Figure out how everything works and figure out the little nuances in plays that I probably didn’t understand before just because you’re in camp and everything is moving fast. That’s the positive out of this.”

PRACTICE REPORT

Rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah missed a third straight day of practice Tuesday.

Receiver Calvin Johnson, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safeties Louis Delmas and John Wendling, Williams and running back Montell Owens joined him on the sidelines. Suh did go through some individual drills, though.

Receiver Ryan Broyles and guard Leroy Harris returned to practice after sitting out Monday. Rookie punter Sam Martin returned in a limited fashion. He did some field goal holding but did not kick with that sore back.

Rookie Darius Slay missed the end of practice Tuesday. He left the field to get his left ankle taped and returned to the sidelines, but did not come back onto the field.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Lions WR Calvin Johnson among 13 players who will join Carrie Underwood for the performance of "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night," the opening theme to Sunday Night Football on NBC.