See where the Detroit Lions and the other 31 NFL teams fall in the Free Press’ preseason power rankings for the 2017 season.
Video by Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press
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Nicholas Castellanos leads the AL in triples. Other Tigers of the past 60 years to lead the AL. Video by Ryan Ford/DFP
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Free Press sports writers Anthony Fenech and George Sipple react to the Tigers’ trade of J.D. Martinez, and agree they made out about as expected with Martinez set to hit free agency this winter. Recorded July 18, 2017.
Detroit Free Press
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A display of the Lions’ new video boards, part of their $100-million Ford Field renovations, on July 19, 2017. By Carlos Monarrez, DFP.
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The Detroit Lions give local media a glimpse of Ford Field’s new renovations on July 19, 2017. By Carlos Monarrez, DFP.
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Detroit Red Wings prospect Givani Smith talks during development camp in early July at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. Video by Helene St. James, DFP.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press
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Paddle to Table event at Detroit River Sports and Coriander Kitchen and Farm, July 9, 2017.
Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press
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We take a look at the centerpiece of the Detroit Tigers’ J.D. Martinez trade: Dawel Lugo, an infielder that was considered one of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best prospects. Video by Brian Manzullo, DFP.
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Tigers rightfielder J.D. Martinez reacts to being dealt to the Diamondbacks, says Detroit is home to him. Recorded July 18, 2017 in Kansas City.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
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Free Press sports writer Vince Ellis breaks down ex-Piston Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s signing with the Lakers with L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Tania Ganguli on July 18, 2017 in Los Angeles.
Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press
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Tigers general manager Al Avila explains the trade of J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks and describes the play of the three prospects the Tigers acquired in return on July 18 in Kansas City.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
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Last VideoNext Video
Our NFL preseason power rankings are here!
Tigers and triples: A brief history
Early thoughts on Tigers trade: They did fine
Lions show off new Ford Field video boards
Tour of Ford Field’s $100-million renovations
Red Wings prospect Givani Smith on what’s ahead
Paddle to Table: Kayak through Detroit waters, then enjoy fine dinner
Meet new Detroit Tigers third baseman Dawel Lugo
J.D. Martinez: Detroit is home for me
Why Lakers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope perfect fit
Watch: Al Avila explains J.D. Martinez trade
Smiles, daps, and hugs from roughly 50 football players is what filled the Cass Technical High School football field on Saturday afternoon. Similar to a family reunion, Cass Tech football players geared up to showcase their athleticism and bond with former teammates and alums.
Each year, the Cass Tech football program hosts a ‘7 vs. 7 Alumni Game.’ The event pits alums of the football program against current Cass Tech players. This includes a 7 vs 7 game but also skill drills and mentoring.
“It is just a day where they come back and go against each other, do games, and talk, the players get a chance to ask questions,” said Cass Tech football head coach Thomas Wilcher.
“It came about maybe nine years ago, we decided to have a tradition and try to have everyone come back so we could keep the Cass Tech football program strong,” said Wilcher. “They feed off of each other, build off of each other and try to become a little bit more cohesive no matter where you go or who was here before you, you understand where your brothers are.”
Delano Hill, a 2012 Cass Tech alumnus and Seattle Seahawks rookie safety, says he has attended the event annually since he graduated.
“I didn’t play every year because of certain situations but it is always fun to see old faces,” said Hill, who played college football at Michigan. “It is all about competition. They see the way we compete so they are going to take that and use it in the game.”
Hill’s advice to youngsters? Always be yourself, because no one else can be you.
“We’re here for a 7 on 7 against the really old guys, and we are here because Cass Tech is really important to a lot of people.” said Aaron Jackson, a three-star senior quarterback and Eastern Michigan commit.
Jackson said he is looking forward to winning the two national games and state championship this upcoming season.
U-M players Michael Onwenu and Donovan Peoples-Jones were happy to see older players and familiar faces as well.
Onwenu takes motivation away from the event as he prepares for the upcoming football season.
“You come back and you see people that you saw before but you really didn’t know,” said Onwenu. “You see how far they went. Some people who were at Cass while I was there, they are in the NFL now. It makes me work harder. It makes me believe like ‘yeah I can do this,’ because they did it, they came exactly where I came from.”
(From left) Syracuse linebacker Tim Walton, Michigan offensive lineman Michael Onwenu and Findlay defensive lineman Brandon Webb pose for a photo during the Cass Tech Alumni Football Camp at Detroit Cass Tech football field on Saturday, July 22, 2017. (Photo: Junfu Han DFP)
Onwenu’s advice to the younger players is if they “actually listen to the coaches and put in the work, they will get somewhere” in their football careers.
Peoples-Jones, an early enrollee freshman at U-M this winter, was glad to come home to see some of the players he looks up to.
“This day means a lot to me,” he said. “I haven’t seen a lot of the older alumni guys in a long time. I look up to all of the alumni. All they guys who are in the league going or preparing to go the league, it’s obviously something I want to do so everything they are doing I watch very closely.”
Peoples-Jones, the Free Press’ preseason No. 1 player and a Dream Team selection, was a five-star recruit and did not select a school until this pastDecember.
“Pray a lot, keep an open mind, be willing to consider different things, look at a college as how it applies to you,” said Peoples-Jones. “Everyone has different interests, you really have to do it based off of yourself.”
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