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DC impresses but Lombardi isn't won in March


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Lions' QB Culpepper impresses Raiola

John Niyo / The Detroit News

ALLEN PARK -- Lions center Dominic Raiola, a mainstay on the offensive line the last eight seasons, offered his first impressions of his team Wednesday, three days into the offseason conditioning program. And chief among the observations was the new-look quarterback, Daunte Culpepper.

"I mean, he looks like a new man," Raiola said. "He looks brand new. The guy really took this re-signing serious and this job serious. He's in great shape."

Culpepper, signed out of semi-retirement last November, started five games for the Lions before his season ended with a shoulder injury. He was largely ineffective in those five starts, but with a pared-down playbook and his poor conditioning, that shouldn't have been a surprise, Raiolia said. Culpepper's weight was pushing 290 pounds when he arrived. But Raiola said he appeared to be closer to his playing weight during his best years in Minnesota -- his listed weight was 260 -- when he showed up Monday at the team's practice facility.

"It was a difficult place to put him in, coming in half the year," Raiola said. "I got to talk to him: He didn't know he was going to play football. I think that's unfair. I mean, I think the first year after all of us retire, you're gonna kind of live it up a little bit, live the good life.

"He was out of shape, he knew that. He was heavy -- he'd never played that heavy before. I don't even know how much weight he lost, or what he weighed last year, but he just looks great. You can see it. At least 20 pounds. But it's not like he lost muscle. He's been working."

Culpepper hasn't spoken to the media since the end of last season, when he was a bystander as Dan Orlovsky started the final three games. He suffered a sprained right shoulder at the end of a loss to Minnesota on Dec. 7.

"Going back to last year, bringing him in halfway through the year was unfair," Raiola said. "But I think he did a great job with it. And I think he did a great job handling everything that happened at the end of the season and (the coaches) playing Dan and him not playing. I mean, that's a man, you know? To come back with a great attitude. I mean, there's a lot of people that couldn't (or) wouldn't accept that.

"He was hurt. But I don't really know what was going on last year at the end of the year. But for him to come back fresh, with an attitude that he's the guy now, he's the guy on that side of the ball."

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yeah his hands probably lost some weight too. I hope they are banking on him and not scheming on Cutler wink

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Fumblepepper, will be the same as always. Flashes of greatness but middle of the road at best.

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hahahahahahahahahha lmao....nice try detroit...they are trying to hype up stinkpepper to make it seem like he's good trade bait to get in on the cutler deal....i can't wait until jared just crushes the big dummy.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
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