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Lions’ coaches still expecting big things from Nick Fairley

Detroit Lions Training Camp Getty Images

One of the reasons for all the optimism in Detroit heading into this season was the arrival of rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley. As it turned out, the optimism was justified — the Lions are 6-2 — but Fairley has hardly seen the field.

However, there’s still plenty of optimism about Fairley on the Lions’ coaching staff.

“He’s as healthy as he’s been since the injury in training camp,” head coach Jim Schwartz told the Detroit News. “We’re ready to see some big things from him. We are expecting to see some big things from him.”

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was giddy about the things Fairley was doing on the practice field this week.

“This kid, he made a play Thursday that I made all the coaches show in their meeting,” Cunningham said. “It went beyond something I’ve ever seen from a big tackle. . . . This guy is gifted athletically. He’s faster than [Ndamukong] Suh. I don’t know if you know that.”

So the Lions believe Fairley is going to be a force in the second half of the season. After his foot injury limited him to three games and a whopping one tackle over the first half of the season, that would be a welcome change.

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49 Responses to “Lions’ coaches still expecting big things from Nick Fairley”
  1. warrenmoon says: Nov 12, 2011 4:16 PM

    By faster than Suh I hope that is off the snap or it really doesn’t mean anything because neither would be fast enough to hawk down a 4.4 runningback anyway. If so then teams won’t be able to double team Suh as much and even if Fairley’s production doesn’t increase much, Suh’s will

  2. staffordsyear says: Nov 12, 2011 4:18 PM

    Faster than suh? Wow.

  3. Soulman45 says: Nov 12, 2011 4:20 PM

    Frist to say he is a Beast and will show up Sunday for the baby bears.
    A easy win for THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS.
    23-17 (Lions 8 sacks.)

  4. jdmp86 says: Nov 12, 2011 4:23 PM

    Really hope he can play consistently well when healthy. I’m no Auburn fan but I watched every game of theirs last year because it was fascinating to see one player on each side of the ball completely dominate the other team.

  5. tystafford says: Nov 12, 2011 4:27 PM

    1st personal foul this weekend ! You think Suh is aggressive…
    Good night sweet Cutler..

  6. packfaninchitown says: Nov 12, 2011 4:41 PM

    Looks like the Lions are going to sweep the Bears…

  7. terrorhawk2 says: Nov 12, 2011 4:47 PM

    Gimme hometown end William gholston next year and things will get exponentially nasty.

  8. profootballwalk says: Nov 12, 2011 5:06 PM

    So who will present him when he goes to Canton?

  9. johnnyshore says: Nov 12, 2011 5:07 PM

    Faster than Suh? Wow, that’s like Jacoby Ford speed.

  10. sommerday says: Nov 12, 2011 5:07 PM

    Fairley just has to be careful and not “shove” Cutler down when Jay is an out-of-pocket runner.
    Goodell’s NFL does not allow that anymore.

  11. gosuhgo says: Nov 12, 2011 5:11 PM

    If you think Suh is dirty go watch some Fairly highlights. Half of the plays are insane sacks, and the other half are 5 second late hits. Hopefully it’ll be more of the former Sunday.

  12. raiderlyfe510 says: Nov 12, 2011 5:12 PM

    Expecting big things from down lineman that plays with poor leverage!??!? Good luck with that.

  13. jebdamone says: Nov 12, 2011 5:25 PM

    i think all NFC north QBs peed themselves a little when the lions drafted fairley this year.
    Suh and Fairley coming straight up the middle at you for at least a decade has to make a QB think twice about his chosen profession.

  14. earthtopft says: Nov 12, 2011 5:25 PM

    Fairley Fat starts jawing at opposing linemen prior to the play, (or more accurately “trenchmouthing” at them), and the resulting stream of saliva obscures their vision.

  15. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Nov 12, 2011 5:27 PM

    A lot of people criticized the Vikings for taking Christian Ponder at 12 instead of Fairley. Fairley will probably be a really good player but he was a big injury risk. I think I prefer Ponder.

  16. woodyg says: Nov 12, 2011 5:43 PM

    There’s a greater than 50-50 chance that Fairley will only be an average NFL player (or even a total bust) …… All the hype goes with his draft status …… Getting healthy & proving his value on the field is still a ‘cross your fingers’ event …..

    Regardless, Fairley’s status will have little to do with the Lions through the rest of this season …..

    The equation (I like to use) representing the Lion’s 2011 is pretty simple ……. 6-2+2-6 = 8-8 = zero …… Another lost year ……

  17. dfeltz says: Nov 12, 2011 5:49 PM

    You guys are posting articles because a coach said he made a (singular, one, uno) play in practice?

  18. seanje says: Nov 12, 2011 5:49 PM

    As strong as Suh is, Fairley is that quick and agile. The dude has flat-out amazing movement skills for a defensive tackle. He’s going to be (maybe not this year, but in the future) a nightmare for opposing guards and centers to pass-block against in the future.

  19. mikehockhurtz says: Nov 12, 2011 5:52 PM

    And Jerry Jones is still expecting big things from Tony Romo….

  20. snarkzilla says: Nov 12, 2011 6:21 PM

    >1st personal foul this weekend !

    15 yard penalties are big things.

  21. childressrulz says: Nov 12, 2011 6:21 PM

    overrated!

  22. granadafan says: Nov 12, 2011 6:22 PM

    With him Suh and Fairley on the line next to each other, the cheapshots and dirty play will becoming left and right. Remember him stomping the Georgia QB and helmet to knee hits in college.

  23. staffordsyear says: Nov 12, 2011 6:40 PM

    @warrenmoon

    I hope you were kidding with that comment…of course he means off the snap,what do you think gunther had them two race down the street like a couple 10 year olds to see whos faster?..cmon man.

  24. pa1913 says: Nov 12, 2011 6:44 PM

    Good ole’ Gunther- King of hyperbole.

  25. beedubyatoo says: Nov 12, 2011 6:50 PM

    Lions’ fans are delusional. IF the Lions make the playoffs as a wlld card, they’ll have to face the Packers again in GB in January. Night, night.

  26. honolulubluekoolaid says: Nov 12, 2011 6:59 PM

    woodyg says:
    Nov 12, 2011 5:43 PM
    There’s a greater than 50-50 chance that Fairley will only be an average NFL player (or even a total bust) …… All the hype goes with his draft status …… Getting healthy & proving his value on the field is still a ‘cross your fingers’ event …..

    Regardless, Fairley’s status will have little to do with the Lions through the rest of this season …..

    The equation (I like to use) representing the Lion’s 2011 is pretty simple ……. 6-2+2-6 = 8-8 = zero …… Another lost year ……

    —————

    Thanks Woodyg….by making another dumb comment, you just ensured they will do the opposite. You don’t have a good record picking the Lions games so far….I believe you are 2-6 from reading your past posts. Hey 2-6 is the opposite of what “reality” (your favorite term on this site) is. So I will enjoy another 6-2 run to end the season. Thanks again ……

  27. thridandlong says: Nov 12, 2011 7:08 PM

    Soulman45 says:
    Nov 12, 2011 4:20 PM
    Frist to say he is a Beast and will show up Sunday for the baby bears.
    A easy win for THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS.
    23-17 (Lions 8 sacks.)

    ———————————————-
    And Soulman, when you are are the losing end of the score Sunday against the Bears and Fairley was ” Fairley ” productive, and you have lost 4 of your last 5 games, how great will Fairley be then ?

    BEARSSSSSSSS

  28. stevemo says: Nov 12, 2011 7:25 PM

    dfeltz says: Nov 12, 2011 5:49 PM

    You guys are posting articles because a coach said he made a (singular, one, uno) play in practice?

    ———

    MDS wrote this (singular, one, uno) article because a finally relevant Lions have a stud Defensive Tackle returning to the lineup that could potentially wreak havoc.

    Not sure why guys complain about articles like this. I (and many others) enjoy reading about players like this for teams that I don’t follow.

  29. canetic says: Nov 12, 2011 7:34 PM

    Lions’ septic system expecting big things from Nick Fairley

  30. veistran says: Nov 12, 2011 7:35 PM

    Pretty sure Fairley and Suh won’t see a lot of time on the field together since they play the same position and you don’t really want two DTs that can’t play the run.

  31. gosuhgo says: Nov 12, 2011 7:55 PM

    thridandlong says: Nov 12, 2011 7:08 PM

    Soulman45 says:
    Nov 12, 2011 4:20 PM
    Frist to say he is a Beast and will show up Sunday for the baby bears.
    A easy win for THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS.
    23-17 (Lions 8 sacks.)

    ———————————————-
    And Soulman, when you are are the losing end of the score Sunday against the Bears and Fairley was ” Fairley ” productive, and you have lost 4 of your last 5 games, how great will Fairley be then ?

    BEARSSSSSSSS
    ________________
    The Lions are actually 6-2 so worst case it’d be 6-3…don’t let that get in the way of wishing your Bears record was as good as the Lions though.

  32. staffordsyear says: Nov 12, 2011 8:14 PM

    @veistran

    Holy cow your an idiot! You do realise that the lions like most teams have a 4-3 defense whitch means you have 2 DTs!

  33. 46defense says: Nov 12, 2011 8:17 PM

    This time there will be no piped in noise, or a MNF coming out party, or J’marcus Webb at LT, or 9 false starts.

    This game will be played in the elements, on grass, outside. The way football was meant to be played. By teams heading in opposite directions.

    Can’t wait.

  34. dfeltz says: Nov 12, 2011 8:24 PM

    Stevemo – if reading an article enlightens your knowledge about a first round draft pick making a play in practice in week 10 of the season, then I guess we look at things differently. I expect 1st rounders to contribute and make plays. It shouldn’t be newsworthy when they do, especially in practice. When it becomes newsworthy, feels like a foundation for the word bust to start being thrown around.

  35. thridandlong says: Nov 12, 2011 8:43 PM

    gosuhgo says:
    Nov 12, 2011 7:55 PM

    The Lions are actually 6-2 so worst case it’d be 6-3…don’t let that get in the way of wishing your Bears record was as good as the Lions though.

    —————————————————-

    Nice catch gosuhgo, I noticed the error as I sent it…I stand corrected.

    Fact is, if the Bears win Sunday, they will have won their last 4 straight. If the Lions lose Sunday, they will be 1-3 in their last 4.

  36. green18blue52 says: Nov 12, 2011 9:12 PM

    He ain’t faster than me

  37. hatesycophants says: Nov 12, 2011 9:20 PM

    @andlong,

    Ifs, buts candy nuts.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  38. straightbiznesses says: Nov 12, 2011 9:24 PM

    Cold Weather in Chicago, I say Forte goes off and Stafford n the Lions get a reality check!

  39. shieldsisland37 says: Nov 12, 2011 10:05 PM

    If the qb had a cheeseburger in his pocket, Fairly would lead the league in sacks.

  40. honolulubluekoolaid says: Nov 12, 2011 10:24 PM

    straightbiznesses says:
    Nov 12, 2011 9:24 PM
    Cold Weather in Chicago, I say Forte goes off and Stafford n the Lions get a reality check!
    —————-

    46defense says:
    Nov 12, 2011 8:17 PM
    This time there will be no piped in noise, or a MNF coming out party, or J’marcus Webb at LT, or 9 false starts.

    This game will be played in the elements, on grass, outside. The way football was meant to be played. By teams heading in opposite directions.

    Can’t wait.
    ———-

    Funny how people think the weather in Chicago tomorrow will “cold” and will be a factor. It will be 60 (a few degrees warmer than it was in Denver on a grass field. The only difference is their is a 20% chance of rain. Besides that, the Lions practice outdoors everyday. And for those of you who have not been to the Detroit metro area, we have pretty much the same weather as Chicago (we even had 30 mph winds on Thursday with a high of 40 ish that the lions practiced in).

    Also where was the piped in noise at? if anyone thinks the crowd noise at Ford Field was piped in on the Monday night game, think again, I could not talk for at least a day!

    As far as Forte going off…..I just hope it’s not on a cart.

  41. honolulubluekoolaid says: Nov 12, 2011 10:42 PM

    The Lions are 2-0 when playing outside on grass this year with a combined score of 72-30. One game was a 100 degrees, one was 55 degrees. So they have played well in the “elements” so far. Also factor in the history of teams meeting when one is coming off the bye, and the other a short week. On top of that, the lions are 2-0 when playing the underdog on the road this year. And the simple fact that they are 6-0 on the road, and 12-2 in their last 14 regular season games – no dis respect to the bears but I like the Lions Chances in this one.

  42. timegambit says: Nov 12, 2011 11:30 PM

    Check the toilet. Big things in there, probably.

  43. honolulubluekoolaid says: Nov 12, 2011 11:36 PM

    My bad… The Lions are 10-2 in their last 12.

  44. veistran says: Nov 13, 2011 12:53 AM

    @staffordsyear you do realize that the Lions like most 4-3 teams don’t play with two 3-techs on the field at the same time. One guy has to take on the double team and neither Suh nor Fairley are guys that take on the double team. They both rush the passer and do a poor job defending the run. As a situational pass rush grouping they might both be on the field but all three downs? Have fun watching bad RBs have career days.

  45. trbowman says: Nov 13, 2011 2:11 AM

    They’ll be sorely disappointed. Very overrated prospect.

  46. commandercornpone says: Nov 13, 2011 3:32 AM

    looks like a lot of wind. even for soldier field. i think the game will be decided by less than a fg.

  47. Derty Ernie says: Nov 13, 2011 8:48 AM

    Well see. I was down on this guy for getting hurt in training camp, and injury I attributed to his being overweight and out of shape. If he is back in football shape good the problem down the road is keeping the weight off in the off season.

    I saw a very big, fast, QB named Culpepper run around the Lions years ago and commented to my daughter ‘this guy is great but he also has the frame to spread out and put on the pounds if he is not careful’. Two yeats later I was correct a mundo and his career was done.

  48. packersrule12 says: Nov 13, 2011 9:08 AM

    A team that can’t defend the run vs a team that’s been running the ball very well. Lets see……..

    Bears 27- Raiders of the Mid-West 10

    Suh, at least 2 PF.

  49. alracv03 says: Nov 14, 2011 9:44 AM

    Fairly big penalties and fines.

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