A new year is upon us, and that means a return to the column, “Know Thy Enemy”. For my new readers, here is how this works: we exchange five questions with the editor of our opponent’s Fansided site, and publish the other’s answers on our sites. See? We get a little insight on the opponent, so we “Know Thy Enemy”.
This week we open things up with the Lions, so Zac Snyder has taken the time to sit down with us for a few questions. He is the editor of our Detroit Lions’ site: Sidelion Report. Check their site out for all things related to the Lions as he and his staff do a great job.
Take a look at our brief Q and A:
The Jet Press: I am a big fan of the interior line play. Two of the best are Nick Mangold and Ndamukong Suh. Even if this is only for a few series, how do you think this matchup will go?
Sidelion Report: Ndamukong Suh is a high-profile name who has enjoyed some NFL success but I think there is another level for him to reach and reports out of camp suggest he may take that next step this year. Manhandling Mangold and the rest of the interior Jets line would be a good indication that is true. That being said, Nick Fairley is also poised to really break out. Watch to see what he does on Friday as well.
TJP: Rex Ryan called Johnson vs Cromartie “Megatron vs Megacorner”. Should this be as fun to watch as we expect it to be?
SLR: Probably not just because neither player figures to get much action. For an individual battle like that to really be fun it has to play out over the course of an entire game, especially in crunch time.
TJP: What are some of the hot camp battles going on at Lions camp that might be interesting to watch?
SLR: The best/most intriguing is probably at outside linebacker where there is a three-man battle between Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis are fighting for one starting spot. Palmer will probably start with Whitehead replacing him at some point. Lewis was listed as the #2 middle linebacker on the depth chart released this week so we may not see him get time on the outside against the Jets but the Lions haven’t said he is no longer in the running to win a job at outside linebacker. Also pay attention to Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard at right tackle and anyone who gets time at right guard.
TJP: Who are some of the new Detroit Lions that will be interesting/exciting to watch?
SLR: Reggie Bush is the biggest name but Jets fans will be familiar with his work. A fun one to watch is kicker Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland – a former rugby player from Denmark who has gone from youtube kicking sensation to holding his own in Lions camp. He had never even put on a helmet before attending the Lions rooking minicamp but he has shown rapid improvement in picking up all that an NFL kicker has to do. David Akers is still the favorite to win the job but Rugland is showing he is a legit kicking prospect.
TJP: Finally, back to the veterans, can Matt Stafford take the Lions to the next level?
SLR: Absolutely and the Lions wouldn’t have been so eager to extend his contract if they felt otherwise. I don’t think Stafford will ever be the pristine example of perfect quarterback mechanics but I don’t think that matters. He has the skills to get the job done, he’ll just have to do it in a way that looks more like Brett Favre.
Thanks again to Zac Snyder for sitting down with us to talk about Friday’s game. Check him and his team out at Sidelion Report. They do an excellent job covering their Lions.