MMQB: Inside the Lions' Offseason Overhaul Plan and Authentic Draft Room Reaction
How Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have worked together in Detroit, and why they were so excited about Penei Sewell. You saw the tsunami of bro hugs and high fives—some landed, some missed—as the “pick is in” graphic flashed across the NFL Network and ESPN screens two Thursdays ago, with footage coming in from Allen Park, Mich. The new Lions brass, to be sure, wasn’t treating the draft like it was some sort of covert mission overseas.Throughout an event that’s often covered like one, it seemed like the guys in this particular war room were, for lack of a more eloquent way to describe it, just having fun.
Last week, the Lions exercised Frank Ragnow‘s fifth-year option to keep him under contract through 2022. Beyond that, GM Brad Holmes: says a long-term deal for the young center is a top priority. © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports Thanks to Frank Ragnow's Pro Bowl nod, his fifth year will be worth $12.657 million.
“It’s extremely important. We already view him as a long-term piece and he is a foundational piece because Frank is a guy that plays the game the right way,” Holmes said (via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com). “He’s everything that we look for and what we want as a Lion. I’ll never forget when it first got announced that I got the job, Frank reached out immediately. I told him, ‘Man, huge fan of you and you play the game the right way.’ So, very important to get it done. Not going to comment on timetable right now — that would be a little bit premature — but we’re not sitting back and waiting on that one.”
Happy Birthday, Suri! Katie Holmes Celebrates Daughter Turning 15 with Sweet Throwback Photos
In November, Katie Holmes called spending time in quarantine with her teenage daughter "the most precious gift"On Sunday, Katie Holmes celebrated her only child's latest milestone with a sweet Instagram post, featuring a trio of rare black-and-white images of her daughter.
Ragnow has been first-string for the Lions ever since he was taken with the 20th pick in 2018. At first, the Lions used the Arkansas product at left guard. In 2019, they shifted him to the middle. He’s started in every game since, save for three missed contests due to injury. Holmes, who took over as the Lions’ GM earlier this year, has every intention of keeping him in place.
Thanks to Ragnow's Pro Bowl nod, his fifth year will be worth $12.657 million. His next deal could put him in the neighborhood of Chargers center Corey Linsley, who leads the position with a five-year, $62.5 million contract.
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South Africa plans to end controversial captive lion industry
The country’s environment department will stop issuing permits to breed, keep, hunt, or interact with captive-bred lions.In a statement on May 2, Barbara Creecy, the minster of South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, acknowledged the “view that the captive lion breeding industry did not contribute to conservation and was doing damage to South Africa’s conservation and tourism reputation.
- Levi Onwuzurike has colorful description of his play style after being drafted by Lions
- Lions draft Penei Sewell at No. 7
- The 'Detroit Lions head coaches' quiz
Related slideshow: Barry Sanders: Career retrospective (Provided by Yardbarker)
Barry Sanders: Career retrospective
If you were asked to name the best running back of all time, there are a few names you might go with. Walter Payton. Emmitt Smith. Jim Brown. However, if you ask who the most-exciting back ever is, there is only one player that pops to mind. That would be Barry Sanders. The Hall of Famer has a truly enviable highlight reel, and his career includes a ton of memorable moments and records. What was the span of Sanders’ career truly like, though? Here is a retrospective of Barry, from the first juke to the final spin move.
High school ball in Wichita…and backing up his brother
Sanders was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, where he played his high school football. While he was a starting running back in his sophomore season, as a junior he was moved behind his brother Byron on the depth chart. Barry wouldn’t become the starter again until his senior season, where he averaged 10.2 yards per carry over a seven-game run as the lead back.
Limited scholarship offers from colleges
You would think that Sanders would have had a ton of colleges knocking down his door. That didn’t happen, though. Maybe there were concerns about his size, and Sanders was 5’8’’ and 200 pounds. Only three FBS schools offered him a scholarship, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa.
Barry chooses Oklahoma State (and becomes a backup again)
Ultimately, Sanders chose the Cowboys, but he didn’t immediately hit the ground running. In 1986 and 1987 Sanders was actually the second-string running back for Oklahoma state. However, you can kind of understand why. Barry’s predecessor at OSU? That would be Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas.
Sanders becomes the starter and has an all-time great season
You could say that Sanders took to being a starting running back quite well. Barry averaged 7.6 yards per carry, ran for over 300 yards three times, and set the record for the most rushing yards in a season with 2,628 and the most rushing touchdowns with 37. This was when bowl game numbers weren’t counted, mind you. If you add in his bowl performance Sanders rushed for 2,850 yards in 1988. Oh, and he still returned kicks and punts.
Barry wins the Heisman, skips his senior season
It won’t surprise you to find out Sanders won the Heisman after his junior campaign. Weirdly, he only got 68.27 percent of the votes. Nevertheless, the trophy was his, and Sanders decided to skip his senior campaign to enter the NFL Draft. Who can blame him?
The Lions draft Sanders third overall
Detroit was choosing between a couple of Sanderses with the with the third-overall pick in the 1989 Draft. Both would have been fine choices, as the other option was Deion Sanders. However, Detroit’s head coach Wayne Fontes wanted Barry, and no fan is going to complain that he got his way.
Sanders wins Rookie of the Year
While Sanders missed training camp with a contract issue, when the season began Barry showed that his speed and agility were going to serve him just fine in the pros. From the beginning, he wowed with his ability to avoid being hit and to break tackles as well. He rushed for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns in his rookie campaign. Sanders actually could have won the rushing title, but declined to go back into the regular-season finale to try and pick up the 10 yards he needed. Nevertheless, Barry was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Barry leads the Lions to success (no, really)
When you think of the Detroit Lions, you don’t think of a lot of success. However, in the early ‘90s the Lions were actually a good team, and Sanders was the main reason why. Detroit won the NFC Central in 1991 and 1993, and that 1991 team made it to the NFC Championship Game. The Lions lost, and Sanders never made it to a Super Bowl, but he carried the franchise further than anybody in the Super Bowl Era.
Barry joined the 2,000-yard club
In 1997, only two NFL backs had ever rushed for over 2,000 yards in a season: O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson. When Sanders got off to a slow start to the 1997 campaign, he then proceeded to rush for over 100 yards in 14 consecutive games, an NFL record. Barry finished with 2,053 yards, then the second most in NFL history.
Sanders shares the MVP
Sanders obviously got a lot of love for his 2,000-yard campaign in 1997. He was named Offensive Player of the Year again, and an MVP win seemed obvious. Indeed, he did win MVP, but he had to share it. Namely, he shared it with division rival Brett Favre. Hey, NFL voters love a quarterback.
Barry fails to rush for over 1,500 yards, which is notable for him
For most players, rushing for 1,491 yards would be an incredible success. Indeed, even for Barry that’s a good year. However, it actually was the end of an era for Sanders. When Sanders rushed for 1,491 yards in 1998, it ended a four-year run of rushing for over 1,500 yards, and NFL record.
Sanders shockingly retires
Sanders turned 30 right before the 1998 NFL season. For a running back that’s nearing the end of your career, but Sanders had just rushed for 1,491 yards as we mentioned. Surely he had plenty left in his tank. We’ll never know. In July of 1999, Sanders faxed a letter to the Wichita Eagle, his hometown newspaper. It declared that he was retiring.
All-Pro, and All-Decade
Sanders only played in 10 seasons in his NFL career. He was named first-team All-Pro in six of those seasons and second-team in the other four. Unsurprisingly, when the NFL named its All-Decade team for the ‘90s, Sanders made the squad at running back.
Problems with the Lions franchise
While Sanders played his entire career with the Lions, and he is the greatest player in franchise history, there was a rough patch for the player and the franchise after his abrupt retirement. The Lions weren’t happy with this. In fact, they demanded Sanders return $5.5 million of his signing bonus, and when he refused the Lions sued. Needless to say, this caused bad blood.
Detroit and Barry patch things up
Fortunately, everything is alright between Sanders and the Lions now. In 2010, he was part of introducing a Lions and Bears game on Monday Night Football. He started to pop up at team events again. In fact, in 2017 he joined the team as an official ambassador of the Lions. Barry is back where he should be, as a face of the Detroit Lions franchise.
Hall of Fame induction
Nobody was surprised when Barry Sanders was elected into the Hall of Fame as soon as he was eligible. He’s an all-time great running back, of course. His highlight reel is maybe the most beloved in NFL history. Sanders was elected into the Hall in 2004, a proper spotlight for a player who often shunned it.
Sanders’ son follows in his footsteps
It can be hard to live up to having a living legend for a parent. Just ask Michael Jordan’s kids. Barry has four sons, the oldest of which is Barry L. Sanders. The younger Sanders played college football as a running back. He started his college career at Stanford, and spent his final season at his dad’s alma mater Oklahoma State. That being said, Barry’s son wasn’t exactly a great, or even good, running back. Fortunately, there is more to life than football. Barry L. Sanders took a marketing job at the video game company EA after college.
South Africa to end captive lion breeding, bone trade .
South Africa announced Sunday it plans to end its multimillion-dollar captive lion industry. The announcement was made alongside the release of a nearly 600-page report by a special government-appointed advisory committee tasked with reviewing the country’s policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos.