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RECAP: Week 1 of Lions Training Camp

The 2022 Lions are out of the gate and have officially completed the first week of the 2022 training camp in Allen Park, MI. While there are a number of new faces, the question always persists if it will be another year of “the same old Lions.” While fans balance hopeful optimism with historic cynicism, there is a lot to take stock in so far.

Jared Goff enters year two under second year head coach Dan Campbell. Late season wide receiver addition Joshua Reynolds, a player Campbell likened to a “praying mantis” and “freaking spider of death” now finds himself at home with a full off-season as a Lion. Off-season acquisition DJ Chark brings an experienced NFL starter to the mix. Draft picks Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams will add much needed dynamic weapons to the offense and defense (though fans will likely have to wait a little longer for Williams to take the field following rehab on his torn ACL).

These reasons and more have fans and media critics, alike, wondering if this could be the year that the Detroit Lions make a huge leap forward and find themselves the beneficiary of a wildcard playoff berth; a dream that may have seemed much further off after last season’s disappointing 3-13-1 finish that saw Detroit fail to notch a win until week 13 in a win over the Vikings at Ford Field.

So far, the Lions look to be doing the things they should be at this early stage. The defense looks to be much improved and forces the offense to check down to running backs or underneath routes, while rarely giving up the big play. While those moments are bound to happen in camp with miscommunication or just stellar offensive play, they have been limited. Likewise, Goff looks extremely comfortable in his second year as a Lion and runs through reads with efficiency and poise to find the best possible option.

While, we predict the Lions will fall just outside the wild card, a move from the bottom to the bubble is a huge step and sets an important foundation for year 3 when the Lions should be poised to vie for a division title.

OLSM Star Pitcher Brock Porter Signs with Texas Rangers

Brock Porter was recently drafted #109 by the Texas Rangers after being projected to go much higher. The Gatorade National Player of the Year had committed to Clemson after an incredible career and senior campaign. However, Porter said he would not sign at the slot amount and instead go to college. The Rangers negotiated and gave him a deal for just under 4 million dollars to sign and the recent graduate will be heading to Texas as a professional baseball player.

A Stinky Affair: Kalamazoo Plugs its Nose for New Ordinance

Business and community members in Kalamazoo say a new ordinance stinks; literally.

City leaders recently voted to put forward “equitable changes” that decriminalize public urination, defecation and littering in addition to other offenses. The move has caused backlash, most notably from business owners in the city center that have had to clean human waste from doorsteps and other publicly used areas. While human waste is certainly a pressing and even dangerous situation, littering has also increasingly become a problem as the city combats issues related to homeless in the area.

Kalamazoo follows other cities, which have taken similar actions; most notably New York City, which eased laws regarding public urination and drunkenness.

While these issues will be shaken out over the remainder of the summer, Cherri Emery, a business owner in Kalamazoo, explained in a recent interview that the trouble extends far beyond waste and trash.

She told Fox & Friends First, “It’s not just the urination part of it. The part of it that’s really upsetting to us is people approaching other people, people following some of their employees to their cars and asking them for money, and when they get to the car, and they’re still not giving them money, we had one guy that started throwing rocks at their cars.”


BREAKING: President Joe Biden has Tested Positive for Covid

News broke Thursday morning that President Joe Biden, 79, has tested positive for Covid. The elder politician has received both shots of his initial vaccine and has been boosted with two additional shots.

Famously, Biden has claimed on several occasions that the vaccine keeps a person from a coronavirus infection and the associated disease, Covid-19. While the counterpoint was called a conspiracy theory, it has been confirmed that recent variants and even the original strains were not stopped from spreading based on vaccination status, but were granted therapeutic benefit in the body fighting off the virus.

The president’s team shared that Biden is experiencing mild symptoms and will be taking a regimen of Pfizer’s Paxlovid to combat the illness.

This story will be updated as details emerge.

What to expect of Goff in year 2

Jared Goff came into Detroit with high hopes, but middling expectations. The young quarterback was not long removed from a Super Bowl appearance, but the LA Rams decision to move on was troubling for an organization that had just drafted him in recent years. The trade was part of a deal that sent veteran Matt Stafford to Los Angeles for a season that ended with a championship and Super Bowl MVP.

The sad reality was fitting and not at all surprising for Lions fans. Meanwhile, Goff struggled early and the Lions didn’t fare well either under first year head coach Dan Campbell. But while the bitter taste of watching your ex living it up in Hollywood was a tough pill to swallow, there is reason to be optimistic that things will fare better in the second season with Goff at the helm.

Goff threw for only 3,245 yards, his worst full season since entering the league, but protected the ball and posted a respectable 19-8 touchdown to interception ratio. Part of what should excite Lions fans is the organization’s commitment to adding weapons in hope of moving the ball more effectively and earlier in the season.

A year into the office and improved weapons around him, Goff should be expected to put up decent numbers in the realm of 4,000 & 25-12. That improvement should translate in at least 3-4 wins over Detroit’s ‘21-22 campaign.

Predicting Every Game of the 2022-2023 Lions Regular Season

The revamped Lions are looking to make sizable gains this upcoming season. My prediction is they trade games the first quarter of the season before falling to 2-4 in a loss to Dallas. Things will start to click for the young team and they will eventually pull even at 7-7 against the Jets and end the season just outside the playoffs with a season finale loss to the Packers. While not peaking early enough to make the playoffs, young talent proves things are headed in the right direction and the Lions will finish tied for second in the division, splitting games with Minnesota and edging out the Bears who bring up last place in the NFC North. The Packers claim the division… again.

PHI

PHI 1:00 PM Loss 0-1

WSH

vs WSH 1:00 PM Win 1-1

MIN

@ SEA 1:00 PM Win 2-2

NE

@ NE 1:00 PM Loss 2-3

DAL

@ DAL 1:00 PM Loss 2-4

MIA

vs MIA 1:00 PM Win 3-4

GB

vs GB 1:00 PM Loss 3-5

CHI

@ CHI 1:00 PM Loss 3-6

NYG

@ NYG 1:00 PM Win 4-6

BUF

vs BUF 12:30 PM Loss 4-7

JAX

vs JAX 1:00 PM Win 5-7

MIN

vs MIN 1:00 PM Win 6-7

NYJ

@ NYJ 1:00 PM Win 7-7

CAR

@ CAR 1:00 PM Loss 7-8

CHI

vs CHI 1:00 PM Win 8-8

GB

@ GB TBD Loss 8-9

Forecasting Week Two of MHSAA Football

Game of the Week
It may be July, but the days are quickly passing like a 7 on 7 tournament happening all over the Mitten state as teams prep to chase their dreams at a state title. While some may have more reasonable hopes of achieving that dream, squads of helmeted teens prepare, nonetheless, to take the field in just over a month.

We wanted to take an early look at what will be our game of the week taking place during Thursday/Friday week 1 action the Rockford Rams and visiting Mona Shores Sailors.

The Sailors finished their season last year with an 8-3 (6-1) record with victories and defeats that were lopsided. When the Sailors won, they did with emphasis. When they lost, it was by a large margin. Much of this was due scheduling some difficult opponents in eventual state champion Detroit Martin Luther King and perennial power Muskegon. Mona Shores eventually fell in the second round of the playoffs in a lopsided 49-12 defeat to Caledonia.

Rockford had a tremendous season 11-1 (7-0) that saw them finish the regular season with a conference championship and undefeated record before being bounced in heartbreaking fashion in the third round of playoffs to Grand Blanc 28-27. The Rams came through in clutch time with several close victories throughout the year, but were unable to do it one more time and the magical run came to an end.

If the game had been played last year, Rockford would have been the clear favorite, but a single year can make a large difference; even at schools with larger class sizes. Rockford graduated a considerable number of impact players on both sides of the ball in 2021 and will see someone new under center in 2022. Replacing such incredible talent won’t be easy. On the flip side, Mona Shores also graduated star quarterback Mark Konecny. Both teams will be looking to find success regardless of changes in the lineup.

Mona Shores struggled to keep up when their defense put them in a position to make the game a shootout last year. If the Sailors are going to have a chance, it will be with stout defense in a game that keeps the score tight and low. If the Rams start stacking up points, the game will likely get out of reach for Mona Shores’.

Our “too early” prediction for the week one game of the week is: Rockford 38 Mona Shores 20

Other Week One Predictions:
Coopersville 28 – Sparta 7
GR Catholic Central 35 – Port Huron 20
Unity Christian 48 – Whitehall 14
Cedar Springs 7 – River Rouge 56
Reeths Puffer 14 – Grand Haven 13
Kent City 20 – Newaygo 13
Forest Hills Central 21 – Jenison 14
Northview 27 – West Ottawa 20
Forest Hills Northern 40 – Wyoming 13
West Catholic 28 – Edwardsburg 35



Hofmann: Detroit Lions Will Exit Bottom-Dweller Status in 2022

The Lions are coming off of a disappointing season in 2021-2022 after finishing with the second worst record in the league at 3-13-1. This was expected by most of Lion nation and was viewed as a tank season by many fans. Although the team’s record was in the gutter, they showed flashes of being a competent team. This was especially evident when head coach Dan Campbell took over play calling duties from former offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn in week 9. Players such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, Amani Oruwariye and TJ Hockenson showed that they have the ability to compete at the NFL level for a long time. In the upcoming 2022-2023 season the Lions are looking to exceed expectations and continue to develop key players for the future.

The 2022 draft for the Lions was a major success, at number 2 overall the Detroit Lions selected Aidan Hutchinson, a defensive end out of Michigan who was widely regarded as the most NFL ready player in the class. Hutchinson is seen as a plug and play type of a guy and a player who does everything at a high level. Through his 4 years at Michigan he tallied up 18.5 sacks and finished second in Heisman voting his senior year, the first defensive player to do that since Manti Teo in 2012. Hutchinson, who has the potential to be an All-Pro level player in the coming years will be a huge piece for the Lions this season.

Campbell has high praise for the young defensive end saying this during an interview this off-season “… He just learns and gets better every day, you just see it and so I love that about him. He’s just – everyday man, there’s growth right in front of us.” If he can become what this front office believes he can become, this defense is going to be putting fear into opposing offenses this season and beyond.

The Lions proved a dedication to changing the narrative in Detroit for the first time in years when they traded for the 12th pick with the Minnesota Vikings to select Jameson Williams. Williams, the electric Alabama receiver coming off of a complete ACL tear was seen as the most explosive receiver coming into the draft. Before his injury he was almost certain to be a top 10 pick.

Even with the ACL tear, Brad Holmes and the Lions saw enough in Williams to take him with the expectation that he will be ready by week one. During an interview Coach Campbell sounded hopeful but cautious when asked about Williams’s return timetable. “We’re going to do this thing the right way and when he’s ready, he’ll be ready. But no, I don’t feel like you’re going to see him out there day one.” With that being said it isn’t expected that Williams will be ready the first day of camp but will most likely be good to go by the start of the season. Williams will be a dangerous weapon for Jared Goff this season lining up on the outside opposite of newly acquired DJ Chark and star-in-the-making second year player Amon-Ra St. Brown

The Lions offense was in the bottom half of the league last season, ranking 22nd in total offense. The first half of the season was abysmal, the ball was not moving and turnovers were a serious problem. After the bye week, there was some optimism in Detroit as Campbell took over play calling and the offense became more dynamic and unpredictable to defenses across the league. It seemed like the team was having fun and clicking for the first time all season under their first year coach.

Looking ahead to the 2022-2023 season fans expect to see more of the offense they saw during the last 8 games of the previous year. The Lions added weapons for Jared Goff to play with, in DJ Chark who came over from Jacksonville, and Jameson Williams, the dynamic receiver from Alabama.

When the Lions traded for Goff during the 2021-2022 offseason, a lot of fans are expected Goff to be a bridge quarterback and get the lions through until his contract was up. Although there is great possibility that the Lions will dump Goff and select a Quarterback in next years draft, if Goff can show that he has what it takes to be a starting QB in the NFL, the Lions may decide to keep Goff around. Remember, Goff lead a high powered Los Angeles Rams team to the Super bowl just a few years ago. With the right tools and coaching, Goff could be the guy. With expected leaps young stars in Deandre Swift, TJ Hockenson and Amon-Ra St. Brown, as well as a top offensive line in the league. This offense is hoping to be improved, especially with the favorable schedule they face during the season.

The Lions defense was arguably the worst in the league last season and they often struggled to stop teams from imposing their will on drives down the field. The defensive line was letting whoever touched the ball get through and could not force any pressure. Th linebackers were among the worst in the league and the secondary was injury riddled. During the 2022 off season the front office heavily addressed defense using 6 of their 8 picks on defense, starting with the dynamic Aidan Hutchinson, who will be an obvious day one starter and playmaker for week one.

In the second round they selected Josh Paschal a DE from Kentucky who should be a very fun tool for Aaron Glenn to utilize this season, a player who can play on the outside, inside and in some packages a linebacker. With their third round pick they selected Kerby Joseph a safety out of Syracuse, I love Joseph I believe he can start week one, he has tremendous length and great ball skills, he is going to fit perfectly in the lions deep zone scheme and be a great addition to the secondary. Malcolm Rodriguez a undersized linebacker out of Oklahoma State was taken with the 6th round pick. He has great speed and mechanics, the only knock on him is his size and arm length but I believe he is gonna be special on the special teams unit and be a great backup. In Free agency the Lions were not very active with the bigger names but made very good signings without spending a lot of money and not signing these guys over a long period of time. They signed Safety DeShon Elliott from Baltimore who was severely underrated during his tenure on the ravens, who I expect to have a breakout year with this team under Aaron Glenn’s scheme. They also made small depth moves in signing Linebacker Jarrad Davis who was a first round pick for the lions during the 2017 to a one year deal, they signed veteran cornerback Mike Hughes to a one year deal to be a depth piece and a mentor to the younger guys in the secondary. With Amani Oruwariye expected to make another jump after his 6 interception season, should be a bright spot on this defense. Outside of Amani, this secondary has the potential to be very talented, Jeff Okudah is expected to make a full recovery from his Achilles injury while I do not expect him to be the star corner fans thought he was when he was drafted, I do expect him to make an impact on defense and hopefully be atleast half the player he was viewed to be. Undrafted studs Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker will be back for another year after both seemingly came out of nowhere.

A storyline to watch out for going into training camp is seeing if any of the guys who missed a major portion of last season can come back and play at the same or higher level this season. The three most notable names being DE Romeo Okwara, WR Quintez Cephus and CB Jeff Okudah. Romeo Okwara is 1 year removed from a career high 10 sack season with the Lions. He was off to a slow start during the 2021 season when he went down with an Achilles injury during week 4. Having him off the edge this upcoming year could be huge for the defense if Romeo can come close or exceed the amount of production he gave the 2020 team, at only 27 with 2 years left on his 3 year 39 million dollar extension, his production will mean a lot to this young defense.

Quintez Cephus situation is more of a weird one though he is only 24 and has showed major potential during his first two seasons in the league, one question still remains, where does he play? This off-season the Lions added two wide receivers who are almost guranteed a starting job and second year player Amon-Ra St. Brown’s development shows no signs of stopping. The Lions also retained Kalif Raymond who had somewhat of a mini breakout season as well as keeping veteran Josh Reynolds around. Going into last season, Cephus was penned in as a top 2 WR on the roster but this year it looks like he will fall to around the fourth or fifth spot depending on camp outcomes. Cephus has all the potential and the tools to be a very good receiver in this league and a contributor to the Lions. He just needs to find his role on this roster and he will be very successful.

The last player and probably the most intriguing one would be CB Jeff Okudah, drafted with the 3rd overall pick in the 2020 draft, Okudah had an abysmal rookie year, getting burnt left and right. Yes it does take corners longer to adjust to the NFL from college and he was thrown into a terribly ran defense, being forced to guard the opposing teams number one receiver on a weekly basis, you still want to see some hope that he will live up to his third pick status. Last season we saw little to nothing as he tore his Achilles in the first game of the season. This year the hope is that he can come in and play a part in the defense, I feel like the expectation that he is ever gonna be a top 5 corner in the league that was expected of him when he entered the league is gone. Most sensible fans just want him to be serviceable, I know this is not very ideal when you spent a top 3 pick on a player but after an Achilles injury and very few glimpses of stardom, it is the reality.

The schedule curators this year seemed to do the Lions a favor as the Lions have the fifth easiest schedule in the league based on projected win totals. The Lions are looking forward to this season as they are expected to outperform their abysmal record of 3-13-1 last season. The Lions will play 9 home games and 8 road games this season.

With the pieces added and familiarity with head coach Dan Campbell, I predict the Lions to make a significant leap towards being competitive and go 7-10. Beating the Commanders, Bears 2x, Giants, Jags, Jets and Panthers, and dropping games to the Packers 2x, Vikings 2x, Bills, Dolphins, Cowboys, Eagles, Patriots and Seahawks. I think this team beats the teams they are supposed to, which is always the first step in turning around a historically struggling franchise.

I do not expect this team to beat the Packers at all this season; they just have too much star power even with the loss of Davante Adams and always seem to find a way to beat the Lions. Finishing 7-10 would most likely get the Lions out of their places as a bottom-dweller in the league, but still land them around the top 10 and an option to be able to select their QB of the future or address a different need with this stacked upcoming draft class. 7-10 would be a much needed improvement and hopefully the development of the young pieces continues and playoff pushes begin in the near future.

LIONS SIGN SEVEN 2022 NFL DRAFT SELECTIONS

Detroit also signs 12 undrafted rookie free agents

Allen Park, Mich.— The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed the following 2022 NFL Draft picks:

DL Aidan Hutchinson – Michigan
WR Jameson Williams – Alabama
Kerby Joseph – Illinois
TE James Mitchell – Virginia Tech
LB Malcolm Rodriguez – Oklahoma State
LB James Houston – Jackson State
CB Chase Lucas – Arizona State

In addition, the Lions have signed the following undrafted rookie free agents: 

RB Greg Bell – San Diego State
CB Cedric Boswell – Miami (Ohio)
TE Derrick Deese Jr. – San Jose State
Obinna Eze – TCU
TE Nolan Givan – Southeastern Louisiana
Kevin Jarvis – Michigan State
WR Josh Johnson – Tulsa
Zein Obeid – Ferris State
WR Kalil Pimpleton – Central Michigan
WR Corey Sutton – Appalachian State
DL Demetrius Taylor – Appalachian State
CB Jermaine Waller – Virginia Tech

The Lions will open at home on September 11, 2022 against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.

Unity Christian Freshman Arie Landstra Sinks Hole in One

Arie Landstra began developing a love for the game of golf at a young age during outings to the course with his father. 8 years later, the Unity Christian freshman is in his first year of high school golf as part of the Crusader junior varsity golf team.

The individual nature of the game appeals to Landstra, “unlike the sports I play like basketball or football… there is a lot more of a mental game in golf.” That focus and mental game was tested last Wednesday when Unity Christian participated in a jamboree against five other schools at Pigeon Creek Golf Course.

Landstra opened with a slow start and triple bogeyed his very first hole. He shook off the nerves and managed to get clicking. By hole 17, a 170 yard par 3, he was in a rhythm. He approached the tee wielding his 7 iron and with the wind at his back. He entered his backswing and launched a beautiful shot that sailed towards the flag and disappeared from view.

Landstra was immediately overwhelmed by what he was almost certain he had seen and took off running towards the pin to verify it for himself. What he found was what all golfers aspire to achieve; his golf ball nestled soundly in the bottom of the cup. A hole in one.

He closed the day shooting a 41 on 9 holes, which placed him first as an individual and aided Unity Christian in sealing the team victory as well.

Landstra has checked this milestone off his bucket list, but several goals still stand before him. He hopes to close his freshman campaign with a winning record and work towards earning a spot on varsity next year. His long term goal is to raise a state championship trophy. He is certainly off to a great start.

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