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Lions’ depth chart shows issues with offensive line, cornerbacks

Dylan Gandy AP

A buzz seems to be building that the Lions should be better — and maybe a whole lot better — this year than they were last year. But the Lions have released their first depth chart of training camp, and it calls into question whether they’ve improved at all at two of their weakest positions from 2012.

On the Lions’ offensive line, their projected starters include Dylan Gandy at right guard and Jason Fox at right tackle. The 31-year-old Gandy is a longtime backup who hasn’t started a single game since 2009, and Fox has never started a single game in his three-year NFL career. There’s usually a reason that a player spends three years as a backup, and it’s usually that he’s not good enough to be a starter.

At right cornerback, the Lions are starting Ron Bartell, who is good enough to start — when he’s healthy, which is rare. Injuries have limited Bartell to a grand total of eight games over the last three seasons, and it’s hard to see the Lions counting on Bartell to be healthy enough to start 16 games this season.

What Lions fans have to hope is that second-round rookie Darius Slay is good enough to start at cornerback, and third-round rookie Larry Warford is good enough to start at guard. Seeing Bartell and Gandy in the starting lineup for Week One won’t inspire much confidence.

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21 Responses to “Lions’ depth chart shows issues with offensive line, cornerbacks”
  1. dino2997 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:07 PM

    The Lions are a team that’s seriously lacking in many areas yet they’re so enamored with the few stud players they have (This does not include Matthew Stafford) that they feel it will overcome all their deficiencies. Obviously that thought process failed last year and it looks like it will fail this season as well.

  2. simplesimon1 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:08 PM

    Good lord…. It’s the first preseason game. You don’t expect a lot of people to be starting. They need to move them into starting positions. If the players they need to start aren’t doing so by week 1, then it’s a story.

    Also, I can’t believe you’d try to say that the positions of contempt the Lions didn’t improve on was at O-line at RG and RT. This is exactly why you aren’t actually watching this situation closely.

    First, almost anybody would be an upgrade at RG, as Peterman was a joke and despite the huge contract, Cherilus wasn’t a great player either. The only question mark on the O-line is if the years of mocking the Detroit O-line was warranted or not.

  3. rmc1995 says: Aug 6, 2013 7:48 PM

    Jason Fox has been banged up for three years, but it’s stupid to think that because a lineman hasn’t started for three years he’s no good.

    Bill Bently is healthy in his second year and is having a great camp. The CB position is deeper than it’s been in years.

  4. bmoreravens1012013 says: Aug 6, 2013 8:09 PM

    Didn’t Cunningham say that teams are worried about the lions and doesn’t Suh and Fairly anchor the greatest d-line in the league according to them?(just ask them) Maybe I’m paraphrasing but you get my point ladies and gentlemen.

  5. advisortothemoon says: Aug 6, 2013 8:10 PM

    Duhhhhhh.

    We already knew their were going to be two new players on the right side of the line BEFORE THE DEPTH CHART CAME OUT

    and

    Pre-season is still evaluation time. This the first preseason game of the year, expect them to start veterans over rookies. The rookies don’t have to be ready by game one of the preseason but by game one of the regular season. All of this is only a matter of bringing them along. Frankly I’m a little surprised that Ansah – at this point – is on the first team

  6. tigers182 says: Aug 6, 2013 8:11 PM

    The depth chart on August 6? Why am I not surprised MDS is the author of this article…

  7. isphet71 says: Aug 6, 2013 8:22 PM

    The Lions only have one vet that’s been on the team forever, and that’s Raiola, someone many Lions fans aren’t exactly thrilled with.

    They lack those 5-6 long term guys that give a team an identity that all good teams have a few of. They’ve turned over pretty much EVERYONE in the last 4 years since the Millen debacle.

    Hard to have a winning identity with an all new team, but I really think they can get there in a few years as Suh, Stafford, Megatron, Fairley, etc. grow into vets.

  8. unbiasfan says: Aug 6, 2013 8:34 PM

    Lions depth chart shows troubles with every position except one WR…

  9. donnymacjack says: Aug 6, 2013 8:36 PM

    Ok Detroit, give Seattle Megatron and we’ll give you Carpenter for your o-line and Browner for your defensive backfield. And if Percy Harvin gets healthy we’ll toss him in as gesture of good faith. That’s two Pro Bowlers and a first round O-lineman.

  10. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Aug 6, 2013 8:50 PM

    Fox is a better and more consistent OT than Hilliard. This adjustment is an upgrade for DET.

    As for Slay, he’ll most definitely start over Bartell. This depth chart is written in pencil — with a trigger-itchy eraser on the other end.

  11. gooolions says: Aug 6, 2013 9:15 PM

    Think That’s scary you should look at GB depth chart

  12. nfldtw says: Aug 6, 2013 9:25 PM

    The Lions are in for a rude awakening. This is the worst offensive line in football. I am fan and you can have all the weapons you want but without on OL Stafford is down before he can get them the ball.

    If you disagree then you believe in Hilliard, Fox, Warford, Raiola and Reiff. Would you want that tandem starting for your team, yea didn’t think so.

  13. rockbottom37 says: Aug 6, 2013 9:36 PM

    This is the best secondary lions of had in years…Bartell won’t start week 1 …too many other good corners on roster…the RT position is my concern

  14. smstonerock says: Aug 6, 2013 9:40 PM

    Corner is actually one of our deepest positions.

  15. tyrobjenkins says: Aug 6, 2013 10:12 PM

    Let’s see how long it takes for this comment to be deleted.

  16. kindasporty says: Aug 6, 2013 10:51 PM

    Some teams are just old and bad at a lot of positions with no hope. The Lions addressed their weaknesses. No they didn’t go out and sign hall of famers to every position. But they did upgrade their potential. So now instead of a couple offensive lineman that can’t block and get called for dumb penalties, they have young players with potential who are still question marks, but the have a fairly high ceiling. Same thing with the DB’s. So I don’t know if Fox will be better than Cherilus, but I can tell you that Cherilus was not part of the solution. So I’ll take Fox over paying Cherilus a lot of money to be mediocre.

  17. sully54 says: Aug 6, 2013 11:11 PM

    One would think that at this time of the season that there would be plenty of legit articles one could write as opposed to this mountain out of a molehill piece.

    This is the first “unofficial” depth chart. It is written in pencil and the team has yet to have played a single snap of preseason action vs. another NFL team.

    From day one the staff has stated that the starting RT spot will be an open comp and not settled until late into the PS. Fox is believed to be the favorite. Talent has never been his issue, injury has. Those who follow the Lions closely know the staff has been high on the kids ability for some time.

    Bartell is having a great camp, and while he was out with a shoulder issue Slay looked lights out. The staff would probably like for Slay to earn the start, but they aren’t going to hand it to him, he will have to earn it. Houston, Bartell, Slay and Bentley have looked great in camp. If it is a tough decision between Bartell and both are having a very strong camp how is that a problem. Looks like the opposite to me.

    Warford is the only one mentioned who has been noted to have had some struggles in camp. His have been in pass pro and specifically with Suh. Imagine that Ndamukong Suh causing a rookie trouble in one on one pass drills. Who would have thunk it. Overall the kid has looked solid, and is getting more and more reps with the ones in practice. That would suggest to me he is progressing, not regressing.

    There is nothing to this report……Carry on!

  18. mack2x says: Aug 7, 2013 9:15 AM

    Give me a break. It’s the depth chart for the first preseason game! MDS is starting to sound a lot like Drew Sharp.

  19. footballfather says: Aug 8, 2013 3:17 PM

    @nfldtw – go root for another team. The Lions don’t want “fans” like you.

  20. dcredz says: Aug 9, 2013 3:20 PM

    Offensive Line, from the right to the left:
    1. Cherilus was only effective when he wasn’t killing drives with stupid penalties. I’ll take a slight downgrade in blocking for just the tiniest shred of discipline. Either RT provides a slight upgrade.
    2. I, personally, would provide an upgrade over Peterman. A literal turnstile would slow defenders more efficiently. Doesn’t matter who wins, as long as it isn’t him, and he can’t win now. RG – Massive upgrade
    3. Raiola is the weak link. He’s small, easily overpowered, and old. He’s a good leader and a smart, consistently below average player . C – Wash
    4. Sims is a beast. As always. LG – Wash
    5. Reiff performed adequately when Backus was out last year. He’s not as good. He’s definitely not bad, even if he hasn’t improved at all since last year. LT – Slight downgrade

    I’m having trouble seeing where the offensive line got that much worse.

  21. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 12, 2013 12:45 AM

    Larry Warford will be a very good guard in the NFL. Jerry Jones should have drafted him if he didn’t have his head up his —

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