Detroit Lions 2012 slate: NFC North division darkhorse?

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The NFC North figures to be a three-horse race in 2012. The Green Bay Packers will be the favorite, as they were 15-1 last season. The Chicago Bears have made some good moves this offseason and figure to be a major player in the NFC. And then there’s the Detroit Lions who’s young nucleus gets older and better next season.

The Lions made a breakthrough last year, finally have a winning campaign and reaching the postseason after many years of futility. Looking at their schedule, here’s the chance for them to vault from sixth seed wild card to division champ this year.

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Detroit Lions 2012 preseason schedule; multiple arrests on marijuana charges

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The Detroit Lions have been making headlines lately.

For marijuana usage and police reports. Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley have run into the trouble with the long arm of the law, and their news has dominated Lions related headlines lately. Leshoure faces a felony charge;

In January, offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after he was spotted on a hotel surveillance camera putting two blunts in the drawer of a hallway dresser. Fairley faces a second degree marijuana possession charge.

But there is on-the-field news too. The Lions preseason schedule is out.

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Mikel Leshoure Drafted by the Detroit Lions


Never mind that the Detroit Lions already have a starting running back.

Never mind that the previous few starting running backs of the Lions have had…ummm…injury problems.

Mikel Leshoure is happy to be there.

With the 57th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Mikel Leshoure became the latest Illini runner to make the leap to the NFL, this after slipping from a late-first round possibility to a late second round pick.

“It wasn’t really nerve racking waiting to be picked, for the most part, until the first day of the draft,” Leshoure said. “Then you get a little anxious waiting to hear your name called. As for the other RBs that went before me, that’s something I can’t control. I wish them all luck!”

It seemed like Leshoure was genuinely excited to be a Lion, especially since they moved up to make that pick.

“You know, they traded up in the second round to get me and they told me on the phone they were really excited to work with me,” Leshoure said. “I definitely feel more wanted to be there.

“I had really good vibes on my visit there (to Detroit),” Leshoure continued. “I got a good vibe not just from the coaches but the whole staff too, from the trainers to the kitchen.”

To hear the whole conference call, and hear the special reaction from Leshoure when his teammate and friend Martez Wilson was drafted by the Saints (worth the listen all on its own), tune in after the jump. [Read more…]