Lions enigmatic defensive tackle Nick Fairley has quickly worked his way into new head coach Jim Caldwell’s doghouse. Fairley been demoted to the second unit, and if that was meant to be a motivational ploy, it doesn’t seem to be working. In his review of the Lions’ second preseason game, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press said Fairley “might as well have not even played. Watching Fairley intently throughout the second quarter, he rarely got any push up front and only once stumbled into a tackle.”
Here’s a handful more miscellaneous news and notes from around the league:
- Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez took an insightful look into Mike Wallace‘s slow adjustment to joining the Dolphins. Things are looking up, though, in Year Two, according to head coach Joe Philbin: “The comfort level [Wallace] has with the entire program is miles ahead of where he was a year ago at training camp. Maybe we underestimated just the sheer adjustment of a player moving from one program to another. I think he’s more comfortable in the locker room and with the coaching staff and feels better about his relationships with the quarterbacks.”
- Saints second-year safety Kenny Vaccaro is establishing himself as a defensive playmaker and leader by example, writes Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune: “[Vaccaro] might have the most swagger of any Saints defender since Darren Sharper. He’s good — and he knows it. And that’s not a bad thing. The Saints’ defense is loaded with alpha males, but Vaccaro is elbowing his way to the head of the pack.”
- Ryan Griffin is making a legitimate run at becoming Drew Brees‘ backup, according to ESPN’s Mike Triplett. A second-year pro, Griffin went undrafted out of Tulane, but earned a spot on the practice squad before spending the final 10 games on the active roster. “Griffin, 24, continues to show a combination of poise and confidence that belies his lack of experience,” says Triplett. If the Saints are to keep just two quarterbacks, they will have to choose between Griffin’s upside and experience of 33-year-old veteran Luke McCown.
- Rookie nose tackle Louis Nix III is one of five Texans Houston Chronicle writer John McClain will be watching tonight. Nix practiced this week for the first time since having his knee scoped before camp. “They expect him to compete for a starting job,” says McClain. “They traded into the third round to get Nix (6-2, 331), who has the ideal build for a 3-4 nose tackle who’s supposed to tie up two blockers…If Nix stays healthy and keeps his weight under control, he can be an ideal fit for Romeo Crennel’s scheme.”
- Ravens defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore, a teammate of Nix III at Notre Dame, suffered a torn Achilles tendon, had surgery yesterday and is expected to be sidelined 6-8 months, reports Aaron Wilson in the Baltimore Sun. The injury is a tough break to say the least for Kapron-Moore, who also missed last season because of a torn ACL suffered in the 2013 BCS Championship against Alabama.