Jason Fox

Jason Fox works at left tackle

JasonFoxLions
Miami Dolphins OT Jason Fox worked as the backup left tackle for the first time during organized team activities Monday, June 9. OG Nate Garner had played backup left tackle in the previous two sessions and Fox was previously competing with OT Ja'Wuan James at right tackle.




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(kffl.com)
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Jason Fox leaves Detroit Lions for Dolphins

JasonFox
Jason Fox started 47 games at the University of Miami.

But the offensive tackle also missed 51 of 64 games in four years with the Detroit Lions – including all of 2011 with a foot injury.

Now back in South Florida – signing a one-year, roughly $800,000 contract with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday – Fox is out to prove his college durability is the real him.

“Obviously, that’s in the past,” Fox said, not long after agreeing to terms. “I had some back luck early in my career, [but] that’s over. I feel 100 percent healthy. I’m ready to compete.”

And he’s open to playing anywhere the Dolphins need him. Fox on Wednesday left open the door to playing guard, where the Dolphins still need at a starter.
He also plans to push for playing time at right tackle, his natural position.

“[Fox] brings passion, commitment to the game and toughness,” said Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. “I think he’ll fit right in with our team.”
Hickey proved that with his quick actions. Yet again, he didn’t let a visiting player leave town without a contract. Only one of the free agents to meet with the team in Davie this offseason (D’Qwell Jackson) signed with another team.

At the very least, the Dolphins hope Fox improves their depth on the offensive line after letting three tackles walk in free agency: Bryant McKinnie, Tyson Clabo and Will Yeatman. The signing does not preclude the Dolphins drafting a right tackle early next month, however.

Fox, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, was four-star recruit out of high school and didn’t disappoint, earning all-conference honors with the Hurricanes in 2009.
“I consider this a second home to me,” Fox said.

A fourth-round draft pick, Fox’s pro career has been derailed by injuries, but he did appear in eight games with Detroit last season, starting three.

He allowed just one sack in 205 regular-season snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. However, his run-blocking needs improvement, the website found.

“I think I’m an athletic, smart, tough guy,” Fox said. “I think I can pick up the offense well. I’ll be able to run the zone [blocking scheme]. The things that they [will] ask me to do, I’ve done them in the past and I’ll be able to execute them here.”


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(miamiherald.com)
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Jason Fox To Visit Chiefs

JasonFox
Offensive lineman Jason Fox is set for a visit with the Chiefs today, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

A fourth-round pick of the Lions in 2010, Fox appeared in eight games with three starts in 2013. In three years before 2013, Fox appeared in only five regular-season games, with no starts.

Pro Football Focus gave Fox a +4 pass blocking grade in 205 snaps last season. He played right tackle exclusively for the Lions, including three starts at the position. His week 17 game against the Vikings was the only game Fox played every snap. In short, signing Fox would be done for tackle depth and not to have him start at right guard.

As things stand now, the Chiefs will have Eric Fisher start at left tackle and Donald Stephenson at right tackle. Jeff Linkenbach was signed for depth at tackle and guard, and has an outside chance at being the starting right guard. Fox would presumably fill the swing tackle position Stephenson filled last year.

Signing Fox would also take away some pressure for the Chiefs to draft an offensive lineman. Kansas City has only six picks so the more flexibility they have to select the “best player available” the better.


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(arrowheadpride.com)
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Meet the Free Agents: OT Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
Free agent to be: Jason Fox
Position: Offensive tackle
Age: 25
Years in the league: 4
What he made last season: $1,323,000 (cap number and base salary)

What he did last season: Fox won the starting right tackle job out of training camp, beating out both veteran Corey Hilliard and undrafted rookie free agent LaAdrian Waddle. After injury-plagued seasons, Fox finally looked like he was turning into the player he appeared to be out of Miami (Fla.). Then injuries returned -- first his groin followed by his knee -- and by the end of the season he was firmly behind Waddle on the depth chart and possibly behind Hilliard as well. He ended up playing in eight games in 2013 and 13 in his four years with Detroit.

His potential market value: Not great. Fox has never been able to put together enough games together to show what he could be capable of when healthy, and that will be a concern to a lot of teams. He is still a young player and if healthy could be valuable -- after all, he did beat out two other players for the job on what ended up being one of the NFL’s top offensive lines -- but that would take a degree of optimism from a team.

Will he fit the Lions still: Probably not. With Waddle projecting as the right tackle of the future after being inserted into the lineup midway through the season and performing well next to rookie right guard Larry Warford, Fox wouldn’t be a starter. Hilliard is still on the roster as well, although at a $1.9 million cap number could have cause for concern about his status with the team entering the final year of his contract. Couldn’t see the team offering him much more than the veteran’s minimum, if anything at all, and he would have to be comfortable with essentially not having a chance to play barring injury.

What happens: Fox probably heads somewhere else if he can find someone to take a shot on him. He has the talent and if he does become healthy could be an asset, but that is not a risk the Lions should take as anything more than a fourth offensive tackle at this point. That Hilliard has familiarity with Jim Caldwell from the time they spent together in Indianapolis could also help the veteran stick around. General manager Martin Mayhew was high on Fox a year ago, saying he had starter-level talent, but that was before two more injuries and the signing and then emergence of Waddle.


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(espn.com)
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Three questions with Lions right tackle Jason Fox, who is not ashamed of 'The U'

JasonFoxLions
Every week, Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez asks one very special Lions player three questions that reveal everything about his hopes, his dreams and his character. Right tackle Jason Fox is on the hot seat this week, with guest questions provided by offensive linemen Dylan Gandy and Corey Hilliard.

Question: What did you do to put on 18 pounds the week you got hurt?
Fox: “See, that’s actually false information you received. I gained about 5 pounds. I mean, it wasn’t solid weight. I guess when you don’t practice and you keep eating the same way, you gain 5 pounds. I lost it the next week, once I realized I gained it.”

Question: While you were attending the University of Miami, did you have to take a course teaching you how to bring up the fact you attended “The U” in every conversation?
Fox: “No. I’m just not ashamed of my college. If I would have gone to Texas Tech or Oklahoma State, I understand I wouldn’t want to talk about it, either. I’d kind of be ashamed of it, too. But I’m proud of my alma mater.”

Question: How does it feel to be known as the most sensitive player in the offensive lineman room?
Fox: “I didn’t know we could lie when we asked questions, otherwise I would have made up stuff all year. I asked honest, truthful questions and it reflected the pure journalism standard I set for myself. ... But I will say I’m not the most sensitive person in the room.”


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(freep.com)
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Jason Fox practices

JasonFoxLions
With Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard both banged up, the Detroit Lions are lacking depth at the offensive tackle position. That's why, from a timing standpoint, it was good that Jason Fox returned to practice on Wednesday. He has been out for most of the season because of various injuries, but he was back at practice and got No. 1 reps (along with LaAdrian Waddle) at offensive tackle. Hopefully that's a sign that he will be able to play this week.


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(prideofdetroit.com)
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With Jason Fox back at practice, Detroit Lions may have battle at right tackle

JasonFoxLions
Now that Jason Fox is healthy, the Detroit Lions have a decision to make at right tackle.

Fox won the starting job with a strong camp, but pulled his groin in the first quarter of the Lions’ season-opening win over the Minnesota Vikings and missed most of September.

Corey Hilliard played well in Fox’s absence, starting the last three games at right tackle, but Fox practiced without limitations the last two days and both players have taken reps with the first-team offense this week.

“I don’t have any comment on depth charts and stuff like that,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “I’ll let you guys read into or comment on that. I’d caution you on just with the stuff that you guys are watching in practice.”

Fox worked with the starting offensive line during skeleton drills today, the first time he’s done so since returning to practice last Wednesday. He said he wasn’t too rusty from his time off and felt “good” at practice overall.

“In every week and even in every game, you try to get into a rhythm,” Fox said. “You try to get a flow. That’s what you’re trying to establish every week, every game. That’s just what I’ve got to get back to.”

The Lions don’t have any hard and fast rules about starters keeping or losing their jobs because of injuries, but the offensive line has been a bright spot so far this season allowing just two sacks in four games, the fewest in the NFL.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said he’s not worried about the line losing whatever continuity it’s developed should the Lions start Fox over Hilliard in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

“The guys all understand, I think, kind of how it works,” Linehan said. “We make decisions on Saturday evenings as to who’s going to play and all that stuff, but we had a really good dynamic through off-season and preseason, Jason played very well. So whatever we decide to do we’re very comfortable with whoever’s out there.”


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(freep.com)
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Jason Fox not campaigning to retain his starting right tackle job

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- Jason Fox won the Detroit Lions' starting right tackle job with a strong training camp and preseason performance, but with an early-season groin injury sidelining him the past two games, he could return to a backup role behind Corey Hilliard.

Fox declined to say he deserved his job back. He's content to let the coaches decide.

"That's a tough question," he said. "You have to ask the coaches that. I don't know how to answer that, really. I think we have two quality right tackles. Either one of us can get the job done."

Practicing for the first time in nearly three weeks on Wednesday, Fox said his body responded well.

"It was a good first step," Fox said. "I think it responded really well. I felt good out there. I need to finish out with a good week of practice."

During skeleton drills run during the open portion of practice, Hilliard continued to work with the first team.

Coach Jim Schwartz also went out of his way to highlight the play of Hilliard during his Monday press conference.

"I thought probably one thing in this Redskins game that went a little under the radar was the job that Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard did on their two outside pass-rushers," Schwartz said. "I thought that Riley played an outstanding game and so did Corey. And they had to do it against two big-time players."

When asked for his philosophy on starters retaining jobs while injured, Schwartz said the team handles those situations individually.

"Every case is different," he said. "We treat every one differently."

(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox Doesn't Practice

JasonFoxLions
The Lions hit the practice field for the first time Wednesday since Sunday’s loss in Arizona and did so without a few key starters on offense.

Running back Reggie Bush (knee), receiver Patrick Edwards (ankle) and right tackle Jason Fox (groin) did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media.

Fox was inactive last week after suffering a groin injury in the first quarter Week 1. Corey Hilliard started in his place and will continue to hold down that spot until Fox is ready to return.


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(detroitlions.com)
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Jason Fox not making excuses for latest injury

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- Detroit Lions right tackle Jason Fox might seem snake-bitten, after suffering yet another injury over the weekend. But he's not making excuses.

"I'm not going to answer any of those questions," he said, when asked about his spate of injuries. "It happened, and I'm working to get back."

Fox won a highly competitive job battle with Corey Hilliard to start at right tackle, seemingly the culmination of a three-year fight to get into the lineup. But then he suffered a groin injury just 15 snaps into Sunday's opener.

He underwent tests this week and did not practice Wednesday. His status for Sunday's game at Arizona is unknown.

"I just turned, and it just kind of gave out," he said. "Didn't feel too good. I got to the sideline and tried to give it a go, but it wasn't cooperating. I knew Corey was going to do his job, which he did.

"I was engaged in a block. We were engaged, he made a move and I tried to react real fast and it just gave out."

It's just the latest setback for Fox, who once was graded as a first-round talent out of Miami before dropping to Detroit in the fourth round in 2010 due to a knee injury. He missed most of that season because of the knee, then all of 2011 with a foot injury.

He was active just one game in 2012.

But Fox entered this season healthy and seemingly made a major step forward during camp. He was a strong, consistent producer, which helped him finally win the starting job.

But his first career start lasted just 15 snaps. And now he's right back in the trainer's room.

Fox couldn't give a timetable for his return, but said he's improving every day.

"I'm feeling better than Sunday," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. I'm going to get back as soon as I can."


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox Misses Practice

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions started practicing for their game Sunday at Arizona on fairly hot Wednesday morning.

The heat, in theory, could help the Lions deal with the all-too-typical weather in the desert.

Two players -- starting right tackle Jason Fox and reserve safety Don Carey -- were not practicing. Both have "soft-tissue" injuries, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday, and were injured in Sunday's 34-24 win over Minnesota.

Corey Hilliard replaced Fox at right tackle in the Minnesota game and he would likely get the nod if Fox's groin doesn't heal in time.

Running back Reggie Bush, who hurt his thumb and groin Sunday, participated in the media portion of practice. So did safety Louis Delmas, who has chronic knee issues.

An update on Fox and Carey -- and in Carey's case, exactly what his injury is -- will be available later today.


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(espn.com)
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Jason Fox banged up

JasonFoxLions
During his Monday press conference, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz mentioned that two players are undergoing further tests because of injuries they suffered on Sunday. Offensive tackle Jason Fox and safety Don Carey both are dealing with "soft tissue" injuries, and their status is up in the air going forward.

Fox, who started at right tackle for the Lions, only played 15 snaps before he pulled his groin. Corey Hilliard took over for Fox at right tackle and finished the game. Generally speaking, he did a pretty admirable job of filling in for Fox, who won the starting job with a strong training camp and preseason.


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(prideofdetroit.com)
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Jason Fox injures groin in season opener against Minnesota

JasonFoxLions
DETROIT — Lions offensive tackle Jason Fox has left Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings because of a groin injury. His return is questionable.

Detroit is trying to replace both starting tackles from last season after Jeff Backus retired and Gosder Cherilus left via free agency. Fox and 2012 first-round draft pick Riley Reiff are expected to play bigger roles this year.

Fox left in the first quarter against Minnesota. Corey Hilliard is the next man on the depth chart at right tackle.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Looks Like Jason Fox Has Won The Starting Job

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions aren't expected to announce a starting offensive line until Sunday, when they open the season against the Minnesota Vikings.

But all signs point to Jason Fox winning the job at right tackle, and Larry Warford at right guard.

"If I do, great. If I don't, I'm just going to keep working," Warford said of starting. "Obviously everyone's goal is to win that starting job and hopefully if I stay on the track I'm on, I'll eventually earn that spot."

Warford is a rookie third-rounder out of Kentucky. He said he's improved his game dramatically since joining Detroit thanks to the tutelage of veterans such as center Dominic Raiola.

He said he's in a position to start due somewhat to improving his balance, which was a problem area when he arrived here.

"When I first got here, I was coming off the ball explosively -- but that's not always the greatest thing for me because I tend to get top-heavy," he said. "I get off-balance, and all you have to do is pull on me and I'd fall to my knees.

"When I was in college, I used to get worried about, 'Ugh, if I don't get off the ball, I'm getting blown up.' Here, it's not all about just getting movement. Sometimes you just have to stalemate to keep your balance."

Coach Jim Schwartz said he doesn't plan to name starters before the opener, but Warford is in a good spot to win the job over veterans Dylan Gandy and Leroy Harris. He started the final two preseason games, and also worked with the ones during Tuesday's practice.

The last time Warford wasn't a starter was as a freshman at Kentucky. It bothered him then, but it gave him perspective for his first pro job battle.

"At Kentucky, I was like, 'Man, these guys gave me a scholarship but I feel like I'm letting them down (by not starting)," he said. "But you can't think of it that way. They have to work with you to get you to the level where you're very polished, so they can feel comfortable putting you on the field. You don't want to put an unfinished product out there.

"So it wasn't as bad when I got here, because I understood that. I understood not starting wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I still obviously really want to start -- that's my goal -- but like I said, I don't want to be out there if I'm not the best choice."

By all appearances, he is.


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox closing in on starting right tackle job

JasonFoxLions
Jason Fox spent the final two months of the 2011 season on injured reserve, and while he was rehabbing from his second knee surgery Lions offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn kept him busy with weekly homework assignments.

Fox’s task at the time was to watch film of offensive tackles across the league, analyze their strengths and weaknesses and see if he could glean any tips.
In his second NFL season at the time, Fox found the exercise eye-opening.

“It was always a continual development,” Fox said. “(I’d) look for stuff in their game I can apply to mine as far as how they set different people, the different schemes they use, different techniques they use, whether it’s how they reach an end or where they keep their hands in pass protection, whether they short set guys, just everything. Just watching and seeing what’s got them to where they are.”

Two years later, Fox is close to being in the position he once studied — a starting tackle in the NFL.

Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday position battles at right tackle and right guard have “come into focusicon1” a month into the preseason.

Schwartz declined to name favorites for the jobs, but Fox has quietly drawn praise for his play while competing with Corey Hilliard at tackle.

Fox and Hilliard shared first-team reps in practice Monday, as they have most of the preseason, while rookie Larry Warford and veterans Dylan Gandy and Jake Scott continue to get most of the work at guard.

“I think there’s still possibilities there, but it’s come into focus over the courseicon1 of training camp,” Schwartz said. “There could still be something that could change our minds. It’s important to finish strong and finish the way we started. But it’s starting to come in. All our positions are starting to come into focus, but none of them are cemented yet.”

Fox has started the last two weeks at right tackle and hasn’t allowed a sack in 80 snaps this preseason.

He said he feels like he’s “played well overall,” and considering how rocky his first two NFL seasons were — he fell to the fourth round of the 2010 draft because of a college knee injury that limited him most of his rookie year — starting Week 1 against the Vikings would be special.

“The injuries are in the past, which is a great thing, and sometimes it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Fox said. “But they’ve stuck with me and I’m very appreciative of that and yeah, it’d be great to come out on the other side of it where I’m healthy and playing.”

While he doesn’t studyicon1 opposing offensive tackles like he did in 2011, Fox remains an avid film watcher. He regularly charts the pass rushers he’ll go against, and he’s found a new way to get an edge.

Several times this preseason, Fox has reached out to former teammate Jeff Backus for tips on the defensive ends he’ll play.

Before his preseason start against the Browns, for instance, Fox inquired about outside linebacker Paul Kruger, how quick he is, his pass-rush moves and the Browns’ new defensive scheme coordinated by Ray Horton, who the Lions played in Arizona last year.

Backus dropped in on Lions practice Monday, and Fox said he’s “a great resource” to have.

“It’s been helpful,” Fox said. “It’s something I’m probably going to carry throughout the rest of the season.”

Perhaps as starter.


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(freep.com)
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Jason Fox performing well for Lions

JasonFox
Unlike the left outside linebacker job, the starting spot at right tackle has not already basically been decided. It's believed that Jason Fox has a slight edge on Corey Hilliard in the position battle, but the gap between them is not big enough for Jim Schwartz to come out and declare a leader or anything like that.

Through the first two preseason games, Fox and Hilliard have played a pretty equal number of offensive snaps. Fox has been on the field for 55 snaps on offense, while Hilliard has gotten 61. For Fox, he has been involved in pass blocking on at least 40 of his snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, and he is performing at a pretty high level so far. From PFF:

Right Tackle Jason Fox is looking like he should be a starter in Detroit. Over 40 pass blocking snaps Fox has yet to give up a pressure. Fox has been getting most of the reps in practice with the first team. He started against the Jets and seems to have the edge in earning the starting role there. Corey Hilliard not out of the mix, but expect Fox to start and watch both closely.

It'd obviously be nice to see how many pressures Hilliard has given up so far, but that number wasn't included. Even so, it's probably safe to assume that if Hilliard was perfect in pass protection as well, it would have been mentioned.

In any case, this is another piece of evidence that suggests Fox will ultimately become the Detroit Lions' starting right tackle. What happens on Thursday in the Lions' "dress rehearsal" against the New England Patriots could help solidify that if Fox keeps playing like he has so far in the preseason.


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(prideofdetroit.com)
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Jason Fox has 'slight edge' to start

JasonFoxLions
The Lions' website gives Jason Fox the "slight edge" to win the starting right tackle job.

A fourth-round pick in 2010, Fox has appeared in just five career games and dealt with injuries in each of his first three seasons. Now that he's finally healthy, he'll compete for playing time with Corey Hilliard in training camp. Despite his limited experience, Fox is considered the favorite to start.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Jason Fox says offensive linemen have been pushing each other in the weight room

JasonFoxLions
The Detroit Lions offensive line will be noticeably bigger next season.

Center Dominic Raiola has added 20 pounds, left tackle Riley Reiff has packed on 10, and rookie Larry Warford, if he can win the starting job, brings a massive 333-pound frame to the right guard spot.

Jason Fox, who will compete with Corey Hilliard to start at right tackle, has also bulked up.

"I've gained a little weight myself," Fox said. "I think that just shows you that everybody has been working really hard in the weight room. Even with the break before (minicamp) and the break coming up, guys are going to continue to work hard to be in the best shape for the start of the season."

When working out together at the team's practice facility, Fox said there's a natural tendency for the players to push each other, but there's also an expectation among the offensive linemen to continue working hard when they're away from the building.

"We know the biggest goal is for us to succeed as a group and as a team," Fox said. "We know everyone is accountable to keep that up on their own while we go to our separate places the next few weeks."

Detroit's offensive line did an admirable job protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford last season. The unit allowed just 29 sacks despite Stafford attempting an NFL record 727 passes.

They'll look to maintain that success in pass protection, while using the added bulk to create and sustain bigger running lanes for the backs this season. 

The Lions averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2012 and have consistently registered in the bottom half of the league in that area over the past decade, never topping 4.4 yards per attempt during that stretch.


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox, Hilliard to split reps at RT in camp

JasonFoxLions
Lions OTs Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard will split reps equally at right tackle in training camp.

Both players split reps during OTAs and minicamp, and that will continue over the summer as the Lions look for one of the two to step into Gosder Cherilus' old position. "We'll keep them as equal as we can and let guys work with different groups," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. Fox has been viewed as the favorite to win the job, but he has never started an NFL game.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Jason Fox favorite to start at right tackle?

JasonFoxLions
DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman suggests Jason Fox is the leading candidate to start at right tackle.

Fox, a 2010 fourth-rounder, has appeared in all of five career games, and he's expected to compete with Corey Hilliard for the job. After the Lions experienced some of the best O-line continuity over the past few years, they'll be employing three new starters up front at left and right tackle and right guard.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Jason Fox vs. Corey Hilliard at right tackle

JasonFoxLions
When the Detroit Lions open Organized Team Activities next week, the biggest position battle will be at right tackle.

Gosder Cherilus is gone after five seasons, off to Indianapolis as a free agent, and Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard are in a two-man competition to replace him. Hilliard said the starting job is “a toss-up” for now and something neither player is consumed with.

“It’s going to be a tough competition, and me and Fox are good friendslb_icon1,” he told the Free Press last week. “We don’t ever talk about it. We’ve built such a good friendship over the years, but we both kind of know what it is. One of us is going to start.”

The Lions are still auditioning for help at offensive tackle. They worked out Winston Justice among other linemen last week, and general managericon1 Martin Mayhew said after the draft that he hoped to add a veteran to the mix.

But Hilliard and Fox both have played well in small doses in recent years, and Lions coaches have publicly expressed confidence in that pairing every chance they’ve had this off-season.

New offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn even had Fox, not veterans Dominic Raiola nor Rob Sims, reach out to rookie third-round pick Larry Warford after the draft. Warford is expected to start at right guard this fall.

“It’s still a long way from the season, and (Corey’s) a great guy,” Fox said. “He’s a great player, and it’s going to be fun competing with him, and who knows, we both could be on the field at the same time. At this point right now, we’re competing, but you’re also focusing on yourself and getting better as a football player.”
Both Fox and Hilliard have had limited playing time in their careers.

A fourth-round pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2010, Fox was slowed his rookie season by college knee surgery and missed time the following year with foot and knee injuries. He played one half of one gamelb_icon1 on offense in 2010, and has appeared in just one game since, on special teams.

Still, Hilliard said Fox was retired left tackle Jeff Backus’ “right-hand man” last year.

“Very smart,” Hilliard said. “He’s so intellectual. People don’t get that, either. He knows his X’s and O’s just about as good as anybody. ... When Jeff would come off to the sideline, he’d go right to Fox and be like, ‘What’d you see?’ There’s a reason they drafted him all those years back.”

There’s a reason the Lions re-signed Hilliard before the start of free agency, too.

Hilliard didn’t dress for a game last year but he has shown steady improvement since the Lions signed him off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad in 2009. He started four games at right tackle in 2010, after Cherilus underwent microfracture knee surgery, and one more a year later, when Cherilus was benched for disciplinary reasons.

“We all got big shoes to fill,” Hilliard said. “Left tackle, right guard, a lot of opportunities for a lot of people. A lot of people have to step up, show what they’re really made of.”


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(freep.com)
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Jason Fox is looking to win a starting spot after struggling to stay healthy

JasonFoxLions
As a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Miami University, offensive tackle Jason Fox came to Detroit with the same goals that any young player entering the league would have: to be a strong competitor for a starting job.

But things didn't work out that way.

During training camp his rookie season, a knee injury that resulted in surgery sidelined him for the duration of the year.
In 2011, it was a broken foot.

In short, injuries plagued his first two seasons, and he saw action in just five games over that span.

The situation wasn't something he'd planned for, obviously, but he has benefited to some degree -- at least from a mental standpoint -- in his time off the field.
"I've grown up a lot and I've learned a lot, especially from guys like Jeff (Backus) and Gos (Cherilus) and even guys that don't play tackle, like Dom (Raiola)," Fox said.

"Just being around the NFL, being around vets that have been in this league for a long time, that taught me so much on how to be a pro, how to study, how to prepare for games.

"You don't come in hoping to get injured, but you have to make the most of it; you have to put the time in. I'm really thankful to have had those older guys to learn from and now I have a great opportunity in front of me."

Entering his fourth season, it's not the same meeting room Fox has been accustomed to over the last three years.

Backus, who was the Lions' starting left tackle for 12 seasons, retired. Cherilus, who was the team's starting right tackle, was picked up by Indianapolis in free agency. Right guard Stephen Peterman was released.

The only two starters from last season that remain are center Dominic Raiola and left guard Rob Sims.

For a unit that depends so much on the the consistency and familiarity of knowing who's lined up next to you, those are some big changes to deal with.

"The guys that left, they'll be greatly missed, they were all good guys," said Fox. "But we still have a bunch of good guys in that room. A lot of them are young, and, yes, we are inexperienced, but we still have a lot of talented players and I think we're going to be a good, athletic offensive line."

Transitioning to one of the youngest offensive fronts will certainly bring it's challenges, but it also means more opportunities for the younger players, like Fox, to contribute.

That makes this as good a time as any to be back in the mix for a starting spot.  

"This is the first offseason in a long time that I'm worried about being a better football player instead of worrying about getting healthy ... it's an exciting feeling," Fox said.

"I've dealt with some stuff, but the bottom line is that I have a great opportunity, and we have a great opportunity as an organization this year, so all we can do is look to the future and make the most of it."


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(detroitlions.com)
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Jason Fox reportedly to sign tender for Detroit Lions

JasonFoxLions
With a chance to win a starting tackle job, Jason Fox wasn't about to miss the Detroit Lions' offseason workouts.

Fox, a restricted free agent, will sign his one-year tender Monday and take part in the voluntary workouts, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The fourth-round pick in 2010 spent last season as the Lions' No. 4 tackle, but with the departure of Gosder Cherilus via free agency and Jeff Backus to retirement, the injury-plagued Fox has a chance to win one of the starting tackle jobs.

The Lions' 2012 first-round pick, Riley Reiff, also will battle for a starting job at either tackle spot or at right guard.

If Fox can stay healthy and prove to be a solid right tackle, it would allow the Lions some versatility along their offensive line. The thought process in Detroit appears to be: draft a left tackle with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft, have Fox win the right tackle spot and move Reiff inside.

That plan would make the Lions a much better run-blocking team -- an area in which they struggled mightily last season. However, with Fox's injury concerns and relying on a rookie left tackle (who might be off the board at the fifth spot), Detroit could be gambling with Matthew Stafford's protection.


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(nfl.com)
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Lions make $1.3-million tender offer to tackle Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
The Detroit Lions want Jason Fox to compete for a starting spot on their offensive line this fall, and they took a step today to make sure he's around to do it.

The Lions tendered Fox a $1.323 million restricted free-agent offer, giving them the right to match any contract Fox receives when free agency opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday or get a fourth-round draft pick as compensation.

A fourth-round pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2010, Fox has appeared in just five NFL gameslb_icon1 in his first three seasons and missed large chunks of 2010-11 with knee injuries.

Still, the Lions think Fox has the ability to start at right tackle. Corey Hilliard, who signed a new two-year deal earlier this month, also will compete for the job, and Riley Reiff, a first-round pick last year, could start at either tackle spot or right guard.

"We think he has starter type talent level," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said at the NFL combine last month. "He has the size, he's a strongicon1 enough guy, he's a good technician, he's a hard worker. We think he has the ability to start for us."

The Lions are expected to retain all three of their restricted free agents -- defensive end Willie Young and safety Amari Spievey are the others -- and their four exclusive rights free agents (running back Joique Bell, fullback Shaun Chapas, receiver Kris Durham and safety Ricardo Silva).

Chapas, Durham and Silva also received their tender offers today.

The Lions are about $4 million under the salary cap heading into free agency and have to restructure more contracts to create more spending room.


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Jason Fox as part of Lions' O-line solution?

JasonFox
INDIANAPOLIS -- Watching offensive linemen work out Saturday brought to mind the Detroit Lions' efforts in that regard.

The Lions have spent a few drafts building to a moment when they would turn over their own line, and that time has arrived. All that's left to know is whether it will take place in one season or be a two-year transition.

Already, the Lions have released right guard Stephen Peterman. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a pending free agent and left tackle Jeff Backus could retire. Center Dominic Raiola appears to have bought himself another season by restructuring a contract that will expire at this time next year.

So who will take over? We know that 2012 first-round draft pick Riley Reiff will start somewhere, be it at guard or tackle. Here at the NFL scouting combine, I was a little surprised to hear general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz repeatedly mention Jason Fox -- a little-used fourth-round draft pick in 2010 -- as a leading candidate to start as well.

Fox was limited by injuries in college as well as in his first two seasons with the Lions. He has played in five NFL games, only one over the past two seasons, and that was a six-snap outing on special teams in Week 12 last season. But he is 6-foot-6, 314 pounds and won't turn 25 until May.

"Jason Fox obviously had the injuries in his first couple seasons," Mayhew said. "He was able to stay healthy all last year, but we also stayed healthy at the tackle position. He didn’t play very much for us. We think he has starter-type talent level. He has the size. He's a strong enough guy. He's a good technician. He's a hard worker. We think he has the ability to start for us."

It would be rare, but not unheard of, for an injury-plagued player to emerge from three years of inactivity to become a starter. But if the Lions need or want to replace most of their starters in one offseason, that's the kind of elevation they'll need to make.

There are some other little-used players remaining from the Lions' 2012 roster who could compete for starting jobs as well, including: guard-center Billy Nagy to guard Rodney Austin to tackle Corey Hilliard, a pending free agent himself.

In either case, by 2014, four of the five positions will assuredly have new starters. Left guard Rob Sims is the only player who figures to still be in his current role. The Lions are about to get young in a hurry on their offensive line.


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(espn.com)
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Lions Expected to tender offer to Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
The Detroit Lions offensive line has experienced unbelievable continuity over the past three seasons, running out the same starting five for 42 of the possible 48 regular season games.

That's expected to change in 2013 with Gosder Cherilus hitting free agency, Jeff Backus potentially retiring, and the salaries of Stephen Peterman and Dominic Raiola making both potential cap casualties.

The Lions have been adding depth to the unit over the past few years and coach Jim Schwartz is confident the younger players in the group are ready to step in if needed.

"We're prepared for a lot of different ways," Schwartz said. "It didn't show this year because Riley (Reiff) had to play one game at left tackle, Jason Fox was an inactive for all but one game, Corey Hilliard was an inactive just about every game, but we have developed some pretty good players there. We have some pretty good players in the pipeline. If we think the best course of action is to go there, then we're prepared for that."

The Lions selected Reiff in the first round of the draft last season and he's expected to start in 2013, although where remains to be determined. General manager Martin Mayhew and the coaching staff have consistently said the long-term projection is to have Reiff replace Backus at left tackle, but the second-year player out of Iowa is capable of playing all four tackle and guard positions.

As for when the team expects to hear from Backus about his 2013 status, Schwartz says the veteran has earned the right to take the time with the decision. The league year doesn't start until March 12. 

Fox, a fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2010, battled various injuries his first two years before making it through last season unscathed. He's a restricted free agent, but is expected to be tendered by the club.

The team also added Bill Nagy off waivers during training camp last year. He was let go by the Dallas Cowboys after suffering a severe ankle injury and spent the entire season on injured reserve. A seventh-round selection out of Wisconsin in 2011, Nagy can play both guard and center.

The Lions could also look to further revamp the offensive line in the upcoming draft.


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox ready to take the next step in development with injury woes behind him

JasonFoxLions
The Lions snapped the football 1,160 times on offense this season. Reserve tackle Jason Fox wasn't on the field for any of them.

In fact, Fox was only active for one game this season, when Jeff Backus' iron-man streak ended on Thanksgiving Day vs. Houston because of a hamstring injury. In that game, Fox played the reserve tackle role and was on the field for six plays on special teams.

It's hard to imagine a player who played a grand total of six plays on special teams this season taking a giant leap forward in his development, but strangely, Fox did.

A former fourth-round pick of the Lions in the 2010 NFL Draft, Fox's professional career has been plagued by injuries from the start.

Whether it was a lingering knee issue as a rookie left over from his college days at Miami, or a broken foot that ended last season, he had to prove to both coaches and management that he could stay healthy.

"That's been his No. 1 thing his whole career is being able to have extended periods of being healthy," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Fox.

"I think he's made a lot of strides that way obviously because he's still been on the field for us and seems to have put those things in the past. He's always been a smart player. He's a little bit more physically developed. (I) think he's a good, young player. He's got a bright future ahead of him."

The key part there was having the injuries "in his past."

There's never been a doubt that Fox has talent. When Backus missed time with a thumb injury during training camp, Fox filled and played well. He's a big tackle (6-6, 315) and a good athlete. He moves well and has good feet.

With the injuries now behind him, Fox thinks he's ready to compete for a starting job.

He might get that chance, too, with starting right tackle Gosder Cherilus being an unrestricted free agent and Backus, who's entering the final year of his two-year extension, turning 36 in September.

Fox is a restricted free agent this offseason, but now that he's proven he can stay healthy, it's likely the Detroit Lions extend a tender offer to him.

"Absolutely that's the goal," Fox said of competing for a starting spot next season.

"That's something that every athlete works for and I'm no different. I'm a very competitive guy, no matter what it is.

"I've had some injury struggles in the past to stay healthy but that's behind me know and this offseason I'm looking forward to becoming bigger, faster and stronger and a better football player."

For the first offseason as a Lion, Jason Fox won't be rehabbing or resting an injuring over the next few months. He said Monday that injuries limited him the past two offseasons from taking the next step as a player.

"If you have a knee issue you're worried about getting healthy instead of getting your leg as strong as possible," Fox said.

"But like I said, that stuff is in the past and we're moving forward. This offseason is just (about) becoming the best player that I can be."


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(detroitlions.com)
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Detroit Lions still have high expectations for Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- Detroit Lions offensive lineman Jason Fox is nearly three years into his NFL career and he still hasn't started a game. 

Fox has appeared in five games over that stretch. He's been active for just one this season, playing six snaps on special teams against the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving.

Still, the Lions' coaching staff has been pleased with what they've seen from Fox this year, particularly his ability to stay healthy.

"That's probably the biggest thing," coach Jim Schwartz said. "His first couple years he had trouble staying healthy. He's very good within our scheme, he had a very good training camp, he was active this year when Jeff Backus was down during Thanksgiving. He can play on the right side, he can play on the left side, he's played some guard for us, and he's a good developing player."

Fox played tackle in college, and that's been his primary position for the Lions as well, but the team is high on his versatility.

"I think he's a tackle but I think he can play guard as well," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "I wouldn't put center past him. Hopefully he'll be able to find an opportunity and take advantage of it."

Fox hasn't had an opportunity this year because the Lions offensive line has stayed healthy. Backus' one-game absence due to a hamstring injury is the only time a player from the starting unit has been sidelined. Fox also slid down the depth chart  this offseason with the addition of first-round draft pick Riley Reiff.
But depending on what the Lions do in the draft and free agency this offseason, 2013 could be Fox's chance to emerge as a key contributor. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a free agent and guard Stephen Peterman, with a $3.3 million cap number, could be released to clear cap space.

Fox will be a restricted free agent this offseason, but is expected to be retained.

"Jason's basically going to be hitting his stride going into next year," Linehan said. "He's got some position versatility. I see him playing a lot of football for us next year."


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(mlive.com)
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Question-and-answer with Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
DETROIT -- Detroit Lions offensive lineman Jason Fox is ready for the most wicked time of year.

Halloween is on Wednesday, and it was one of Fox's favorite holidays as a child. It is debatable whether Fox still loves Halloween, but he spoke about everything trick-or-treat related during this week's question-and-answer session.

Anwar: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? Jason: I'm drawing a blank I can't remember stuff that happened last week, let alone as a kid. I was Batman as a kid.

Anwar: Weren't you kind of big for Batman? Jason: No. I looked good.

Anwar: You didn't wear any other costumes? Jason: One year I was lazy because I had baseball practice. We had a game, so I just wore my uniform out. I just went as a baseball player.

Anwar: Was this in high school? Jason: No, this was little league.

Anwar: Basically, you went dressed as yourself? Jason: No. Well ...

Anwar: Technically, you went dressed as yourself. Jason: Yeah, you're right.

Anwar: Would you have given yourself candy for that effort? Jason: Probably not as I look back. I didn't bring it that year.

Anwar: Which guy is scarier - Michael Myers or Jason? Jason: Michael Myers. He was a little worse.

Anwar: Which guy on the team doesn't need a mask to scare someone? Jason: There's a lot of people. I will probably say Louis Delmas.

Anwar: Do you think he would scare old ladies or children? Jason: All of the above.

Anwar: What does a trick-or-treater have to do to get candy from you? Jason: They got to have a good costume. They can't go halfway. They got to go all out.

Anwar: What are your most memorable experiences trick-or-treating as a kid? Jason: I always liked the houses that went all out. They would invite you in and have the inside of their house decorated with the dry ice. They really wanted to scare you. Not just the guy who threw candy at you.

Anwar: So you're saying as a kid you went into a stranger's house because they offered you candy? Jason: (Laughing) I mean, nowadays, I don't know if that's cool. I'm just saying ... I really enjoyed Halloween as a kid. I liked the houses that went all out.

Anwar: Candy corn - yes or no? Jason: Yes, I like candy corn.

Anwar: Pumpkin pie? Jason: Yes. You're probably not going to find any of those I will say no to.

Anwar: When is the last time you got dressed up for Halloween? Jason: My rookie year. I went as Kenny Powers. We had a team Halloween party, so I was Kenny Powers.

Anwar: Who had the best outfit? Jason: There were some good ones. Tony Scheffler was a cowboy, and he had a little horse that came out on both sides of him, and he was standing up in between.


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(mlive.com)
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Healthy Jason Fox finally able to showcase talent

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- Injuries have plagued offensive lineman Jason Fox from the moment he arrived in the NFL. As a senior at the University of Miami, he skipped the team's bowl game to have surgery on his injured knee, hoping to be healthy for his first NFL training camp. Unfortunately, the injury lingered his entire rookie campaign.

Coming into last season, Fox expected to compete for a starting job, but a broken foot in training camp quickly derailed those plans. A couple months later, another knee surgery landed him on injured reserve, washing away his second professional season.

When Fox missed the team's mandatory minicamp with a knee injury this June, coach Jim Schwartz seemed to imply the window for the young tackle to make an impression might be closing.

"He needs to put some time together where he's injury free from an evaluation standpoint, proving that he can stay healthy over a long term," Schwartz said.
Fox has cleared the first hurdle in the process, escaping training camp without a significant injury. Not only has he remained healthy, he's displaying the talent that encouraged the Lions to spend a fourth-round draft pick on him in 2010.

"He's still a very young player, so he has to progress, learn, go through it, and get better every day," offensive line coach George Yarno said. "He's done that. He's quietly put together a really good camp because he's getting better every day."

In practice, Fox has seen as many reps as any player on the team, getting work with all three units, including snaps at starting left tackle when Jeff Backus sat out with various injuries. 

In the team's two preseason games, Fox has effectively demonstrated the ability to get push as a run blocker and swing out wide and stay in front of his man in one-on-one pass rush situations.

"I think I've done a good job. I feel like I have a good grasp of this offense," Fox said. "I've been around for a few years now, but there's always room for improvement."

Despite being on shaky ground when camp opened, Fox has all but locked down a roster spot with his performance the past three weeks. He'll likely be one of five tackles left standing, along with Backus, Gosder Cherilus, first-round draft pick Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard.

That would mean the Lions won't carry a third guard on the 53-man roster, but Fox, along with the two other backup tackles, are all cross-trained to play inside if starters Stephen Peterman or Rob Sims were to suffer an injury.

"They've told all of us at tackle that we need to be able to play both sides and inside if need be," Fox said. "That's what I'm here for. I want to be able to play wherever they need me."

While there is plenty of depth at tackle this season, Fox could still develop into a starter for the Lions. Cherilus and Hilliard will both be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, and Backus, who turns 35 in September, is nearing the end of his career.  

Fox will be a restricted free agent in 2013. As a former fourth-round selection, the Lions would be able to retain his services next season for approximately $1.3 million.


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox continues to impress

JasonFoxLions
Offensive tackle Jeff Backus was given the day off on Tuesday with tightness in his back so Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox split the first-team snaps at left tackle. Simply put, Fox looked outstanding matching up head-to-head with Willie Young, Lawrence Jackson and Everette Brown. Fox is moving very well, and while he admitted to general camp soreness, he appears be as healthy as he's been since joining the Lions.


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Finally healthy, Jason Fox is starting to show promise

JasonFoxLions
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is right when he says it’s not always about ability, but rather availability.

Offensive tackle Jason Fox has been the poster boy for that cliché his first two seasons in the league. It’s no secret that Fox has been injured for most of his career with the Lions. It's been hard to truly evaluate Fox over the last two years because of all the injuries. When he’s been healthy – like right now -- he's played well.

Fox had a mild scare in June when soreness developed in his knee and he missed the team’s minicamp, but he hasn’t missed any training camp practices so far and the Lions are hopeful he’ll begin to fulfill some of the promise they had in him when they selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Fox missed Miami's Bowl game in 2010 so he could have surgery on a left knee that had been bothering him his senior year. The knee was never 100-percent in training camp that rookie season. He then broke a foot early in training camp last year and developed problems in his other knee.

Besides a few bumps and bruises that all players feel around this time, this is the first training camp Fox has been healthy. He’s been getting reps on both the left and right sides and split first-team reps with Jeff Backus at left tackle during a team period in Monday’s practice.

“He’s looked like we thought he would look,” Schwartz said of Fox after Monday's practice. “He’s been very consistent through camp; he’s playing right tackle, he’s playing left tackle. You know, he can get some snaps in at guard but he’s answered the bell every practice and that’s been a big thing for him.”

Fox’s emergence early in training camp has allowed the Lions a lot of versatility with the way they use their tackles. Fox, rookie Riley Reifficon-article-link and veteran Corey Hilliardicon-article-link have been alternating between both right and left tackle during training camp. The ability to be able to plug players into multiple positions along the line will only help the Lions in the long run.

“Obviously if you’re taking first-team reps there’s pressure to perform, but you don’t really look at it as pressure,” Fox said. “You just want to go out there and play football and improve every day and master your craft and become as technically sound as possible.”


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(detroitlions.com)
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Jason Fox needs the injuries to finally be behind him

JasonFox
Lions offensive tackle Jason Foxicon-article-link is hoping there will come a time when he conducts an interview that doesn’t inevitably shift to the subject of injuries and his ability to stay healthy.

That day wasn't today, though.

Fox has battled knee and foot problems that have kept him off the field for the better part of his first two seasons in the NFL. Now entering his third season, the biggest question most people have is whether he can stay healthy or not.

“When I’m out there I’m just playing football and not worrying about it,” Fox said after practice Monday. “It’s been on my mind a lot in the offseason. It’s just something that has to be in the past now. It’s no secret I’ve been hurt and now it’s just time to get out there and stay healthy and perform. That’s the bottom line.”

When healthy, Fox has shown that he can play. He continues to share first-team reps with Corey Hilliardicon-article-link in the absence of Jeff Backusicon-article-link at left tackle in training camp. Backus injured his thumb in one-on-one drills Saturday and was spotted with a hard cast on his hand in the locker room Monday. It's unknown when Backus will return to practice.

A fourth-round pick in 2010 (128th overall), Fox was limited to four games during his rookie season because of a knee injury he suffered in college that lingered into his rookie season. He was placed on injured reserve last season with a broken foot.

As long as he can stay healthy, the Lions will give Fox every opportunity to compete for playing time.

“Well, he’s been able to practice and that’s really been his issue for the previous couple years,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Fox. “His availability has been limited. Last year we saw Jeff Backus go down early in camp because he was coming back from that pectoral injury, so it gave a guy like Fox a great opportunity to get reps and was doing well and he got hurt. He ended up missing the season for us.”

Fox knows that can’t happen again or there isn't likely to be a roster spot for him when the team gets to it's final 53.

“Obviously if you’re taking first-team reps there’s pressure to perform,” Fox said.

Schwartz said there’s never been a question about Fox’s talent, just his availability, and this is a big training camp for him.

“How well he’s doing is really a reflection of how available he is because when he’s been available he’s always done a good job in there going back to his rookie year," Schwartz said. He got thrown in at the end of (his rookie year) against Minnesota. He had a rough first series against some really good defensive ends. He came back the rest of the game, played really well. It’s just a matter of him being healthy and if he can do that then he can help us.”


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(detroitlions.com)
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Getting to know Jason Fox

JasonFoxLions
Get to know your Detroit Lions off the field!

Detroitlions.com asks players questions to learn more about their football memories, plans after football, favorites and more!

T Jason Fox

Q: What is your favorite college football memory?
Fox: “When I scored a touchdown against Florida State.”

Q: What was your favorite show growing up?
Fox: “Saved by the Bell.”

Q:What's your favorite movie?
Fox: “Dumb and Dumber.”

Q: Who's your favorite musical performer:
Fox: “George Straitt.”

Q: What are your plans after your football career?
Fox: "I definitely would want to coach."

Q: Who's your favorite music to work out to?
Fox: "Anything rock."

Q: Where would you most like to travel to?
Fox: “Europe.”


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(detroitlions.com)
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Jason Fox not guaranteed Detroit Lions roster spot after injury

JasonFoxLions
Jason Fox, an offensive lineman drafted in the fourth round in 2010, is in danger of not making the Detroit Lions out of training camp because of lingering injuries.

Fox missed the Lions' recent minicamp due to a knee injury, the latest in a line of setbacks that have hampered his career, according to MLive.com. He missed all of the 2011 season with a broken left foot, suffered during last year's training camp.

The Lions drafted Fox out of University of Miami with visions of him eventually earning a starting job at tackle, but the injuries have relegated him to competing for a backup role this season.

"He needs to put some time together where he's injury-free from an evaluation standpoint and proving that he can stay healthy over a long term," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.

Fox has appeared in just four NFL games during his career.


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Lions coach Jim Schwartz hints OT Jason Fox's roster spot could be in danger

JasonFoxLions
Lions coach Jim Schwartz hints OT Jason Fox's roster spot could be in danger.

Foot and knee injuries have limited Fox to four games in two seasons, and he sat out last week's minicamp with knee soreness. "It's not just ability, it's availability," Schwartz said. "He needs to put some time together where he's injury-free, from an evaluation standpoint, and prove that he can stay healthy over the long term." Fox will be the Lions' fifth tackle if he keeps his roster spot.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Time running out for Jason Fox to get healthy, show his stuff

JasonFoxLions
There's an old saying in professional sports, and it certainly applies to offensive tackle Jason Fox.

"It's not just ability, it's availability," coach Jim Schwartz said. "It's an old cliché, but it's true in situations like that."

Fox, a fourth-round pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2010, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and doesn't have much to show for his first two years with the Lions.

Fox's time in Detroit has amounted to four games. He missed most of his rookie season while recovering from knee surgery in college. He suffered a foot injury early in training camp last year and then had season-ending knee surgery in November. Recovering from that surgery forced Fox to miss the Lions' three-day minicamp last week.

"It's all about reps for him because when he's been healthy he's played well, he's done well in practice," Schwartz said. "But he hasn't had consistent streaks of being healthy.

"This off-season was good for him. Up until last week, when he started getting sore, he was doing very well. ... Maybe if we shut him down (in minicamp) we don't have this issue come up in training camp. He needs to put some time together where he's injury-free, from an evaluation standpoint, and proven that he can stay healthy over the long term."


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Jason Fox expected to sit out minicamp

JasonFoxLions
ALLEN PARK -- Detroit Lions tackle Jason Fox's biggest obstacle has been staying healthy since he was drafted in 2010.

He is battling injuries once again.

Fox missed the Lions' first day of mandatory minicamp practice due to a knee injury. Lions coach Jim Schwartz does not expect Fox to practice at all this week.

"Anybody that didn't practice today was injury related," Schwartz said. "Everybody's in town and here. We got a lot of things we're trying to sort of make sure they don't sort of roll up on us. Jason's had a good offseason, but his knee was getting a little bit sore, and we decided to shut him down. You won't see him for the minicamp. Other guys you'll see back.

"Today was a light day. The next two days are going to be almost training camp length to practice, number of reps, things like that, and we didn't want to go three days in a row that way, but we wanted to build toward it."

Fox, a former fourth-round pick, was sidelined all of last season due to a broken foot suffered in training camp, and then a knee injury that required surgery. He currently is battling Lions rookie Riley Reiff for playing time, but general manager Martin Mayhew previously said it was a critical year for Fox because of his consistent health problems.


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(mlive.com)
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Jason Fox to sit out this week's mini-camp

JasonFoxLions
Allen Park— They don't call it a setback; they call it a precaution. Regardless, it's not good news for Lions third-year left tackle Jason Fox.

Fox, who has battled an assortment of injuries his first two seasons, has been scratched from the three-day mini-camp which began Tuesday.

"We have a lot of things we're trying to make sure don't roll up on us," coach Jim Schwartz said, referring to several players who were held out Tuesday. "Jason has had a good offseason. His knee was getting sore so we decided to shut him down. You won't see him out there this week."

Fox is facing a make-or-break training camp in August. Drafted in the fourth round in 2010, Fox was expected to eventually take over the left tackle spot once Jeff Backus retired. But injuries have kept him off the field, and in the meantime, the Lions used their first-round pick this year on left tackle Riley Reiff.

Fox had been working with the second-team offense during the 10 OTAs while Reiff worked with the third team. Reiff was taking second- and third-team reps on Tuesday.

"It's too early to say who's going to play where, but Riley is on track to play a lot of football for us early," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said last week. "He has exceptional talent. Where he ends up this year hasn't been determined yet but we are happy with what we've seen so far."


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(detroitnews.com)
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Jason Fox healthy and ready to compete in year three

JasonFoxLions
When Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was asked about offensive tackle Jason Foxicon-article-link after last season, he said 2012 was going to be a big year for Fox to prove to the Lions he can stay healthy.

A fourth-round pick in 2010 (128th overall), Fox has played in a grand total of four games during his first two seasons with the Lions because of injuries. Entering year three, Fox knows it's time to prove himself.

“It’s been a run of bad luck,” Fox said of his first two seasons with the Lions. “It’s just so exciting now that I can go out there and just compete and try to learn and improve without worrying about injuries and just go out and get better all day.”

He never fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered in college at Miami and it lingered into his rookie year. Last year, it was a broken foot.
Fox has remained at the Lions training facility in Allen Park training and rehabbing this entire offseason. He says he’s ready make good on some high hopes the Lions had for him in 2010.

“I’m very comfortable with this offense and my assignments and being able to play different positions,” he said. “I think that’s going to help down the road.”

The Lions selected offensive tackle Riley Reiff in the first round of this year’s draft to be the left tackle of the future.

Fox, like Reiff, is versatile in that they both can play left or right tackle and possibly even guard. Fox has been working with the second-team offense at both left and right tackles this offseason.

Ideally, the Lions would like to have two interchangeable parts for the future of their offensive line in Fox and Reiff.


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(detroitlions.com)
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Jason Fox is a fan-friendly guy, but terrible at H-O-R-S-E

JasonFoxLions
Jason Fox got incredibly lucky Wednesday.

It was the type of luck that’s almost unheard of, honestly. The Detroit Lions offensive tackle may be a great football player, but he narrowly — and I mean narrowly — escaped defeat in a game of H-O-R-S-E prior to a Lions charity basketball game at Flint Southwestern Academy in Flint.

Prior to the event, Fox, a third-year player of out Miami (Fla.), challenged yours truly to the classic playground game. I agreed, thinking, ‘Hey, it’s pretty cool he wants me to play.’ Although I’m more of a baseball player, and much, much less a basketball player, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

And actually, let me take back that “narrowly” part. Because Fox, a towering 6-foot-7 compared to my modest 5-8, came pretty close to mopping the floor with me. If it weren’t for a lucky behind-the-back layup that he said I “obviously traveled on,” or a couple lucky, comfortable shots from the elbow, I would have been in a world of trouble.

I forgot the shot he won on, some long distance bull, but I ended up with H-O-R-S-E, while he was stuck on H-O-R — despite me knocking down some nice shots from the perimeter. He’s a good sport, though. I can see him being a player that fans will like — no ego, and a very honest, genuine and accessible type of personality.

Part of the Lions/F.O.P charity game’s fun is the fan participation. Players will pick youngsters from the crowd, give them their jersey along with a high-five, take a seat on the bench and watch the little ones go to work. The Lions even help the children with their shots.

Fox, who loves the kids, assisted the youngsters in making free throws, holding them up closer to the rim so they could get an advantage. He signed autographs for all the fans, and even took photos with anyone who asked. He isn’t a bad guy.

Well, actually, he is, kind of.

A young girl was elated after being picked to run the floor with the Lions (Cory Schlesinger, Rob Rubick, Nate Hughes, Kevin Smith and Herman Moore). Who wouldn’t be at that age? She tried her best to get near the basket, weaving through a forest of world-class athletes. She stopped, picked up her dribble, living in the moment that was to be great, and shot. It was on its way, easily a nothing-but-net make… until Fox came charging toward her, slapping the ball down with a vengeance.

It was funny, because as soon as he did that, I looked at him, making a writing motion with my hand, and let him know it didn’t go unnoticed. It was all fun and games. No one was hurt. The girl got another chance to score.

Fox was one of the Lions’ stars in their duel with the Flint F.O.P All-Stars on Wednesday. I told him I’d pad his stat line and maybe even compare him to Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love. He asked, instead, to be compared to Dallas Mavericks standout Dirk Nowitzki. OK. But let’s be real here, Fox. Nowitzki makes his 3-pointers. I’m kidding, big guy. The game ended in a 69-69 tie, with Fox netting a double-double on the night — maybe. I told him I’d say it was a double-double. It may have been more like 11 points, six rebounds and four assists — but who keeps track of stats at a charity game?

Fox, who played basketball in high school (obviously a post guy), actually had a decent stroke for a football player. I encouraged him to dunk like Cliff Avril did last year during the same game. But he didn’t want to. Smith did, though. It wasn’t bad, but I still give the edge to Avril, who hammered down a one-hander like he was in the NBA. Smith’s dunk was off the backboard, a two-handed flush that was pretty nice.

It was great seeing the Lions in Flint. Being from the area, it’s always a treat when pros come out and entertain local residents. Wednesday was my second year attending the event. Last year, because I was at The Flint Journal, I didn’t really get involved or talk much to the players about anything other than football. I was more interested in meeting my deadline.

But Wednesday, since I freelance and have no real deadlines, I saw nothing wrong with mixing a little business with pleasure. It was a charity game, everyone, including myself, was there for a good time.

Fox and I talked about important Lions-related topics, which I’ll write an article about, of course. Here’s a little sneak peak: Fox thinks the Lions will be good. And when I get my rematch, I’ll write about that, too


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(detroit360.com)
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Jason Fox says he feels great, wants to 'help out any way I can'

JasonFoxLions
SAGINAW — Jason Fox may have been shelved the entire 2011 season with multiple injuries, but he looked plenty healthy running the court and throwing up jumpers in the Detroit Lions Crime Stoppers charity basketball game Wednesday.

Fox, who has played just four games in his two seasons with the Lions, said he is focusing on the future after two seasons nearly completely lost.

"I feel great, I'm ready," Fox said. "The past is the past. Obviously I wanted to play more and be physically able to. But that's in the past, and I'm ready to help out any way I can.

Fox, an offensive tackle drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft, was sidelined all of last season, first with a broken foot suffered in training camp and then with a knee injury that required surgery.

The Lions have shown patience in the 24-year-old, but Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew said earlier this year that this is "a critical year for him" to prove his durability.

"It's very important," Fox said of this year. "I've had some unfortunate luck in the past, but that's behind me now and I'm ready to put that in the rear-view mirror."

Fox is currently as one of five tackles on the Lions roster, all which have a good shot of making the 53-man roster. The group includes recent first-round pick Riley Reiff.

"We have some great guys, some great coaches and great guys," Fox said. "We've got older guys, there's so much you can learn from them, and just a talented group altogether. It should be a good year."


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(mlive.com)
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Padres' 'Hurricanes' keep bond strong with alma mater

BlakeTekotte
PEORIA, Ariz. — They all wear midnight blue and white, but some bleed green and orange.

The San Diego Padres have five players in camp -- including two non-roster invitees -- that attended the University of Miami: first baseman Yonder Alonso, center fielder Blake Tekotte and catchers Yasmani Grandal, Jason Hagerty and Eddy Rodriguez.

“Every time we play with a fellow teammate or someone that played at Miami, it’s really like a family,” Grandal said. “Even if you didn’t play with them, we all know each other.”

Grandal and Alonso came from the Cincinnati Reds in a five-player deal for pitcher Mat Latos. Both players speak passionately about “the U,” as Miami is commonly referred to. Although the school is mostly known for football, its baseball program is just as rich in history.

They’re just two of 38 former Hurricanes on professional baseball rosters from a program that in baseball circles is widely known as one of the best in the country.

“The only reason they talk about the football team is because the publicity they get, but we’ve had almost the same history as they have,” Grandal said. “We’re a good program as well. I think both programs are known nationwide. It’s just a good system they got there whether it’s for football or baseball. We’ve both been successful.”

Grandal spent three seasons as a Hurricane. He played with Alonso during his freshman year. He said Alonso taught him a lot, including how to lead the team.

“That’s the thing about Miami, once you learn the system -- once you learn how to play Hurricane baseball – you try to pass that on,” Grandal said.
Grandal always saw former Hurricanes like Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and John Jay in the batting cages in the offseason. They always gave him tips to help him improve. The 53rd-ranked prospect by Baseball America said he always wanted to be listed with those players in the school’s media guide.

“More and more you see guys getting up and doing big things,” Grandal said. “Those big things go all the way back to the University of Miami.”
Grandal has a tattoo of the school’s logo inked inside of a baseball with a cross surrounding it. Alonso has a tattoo of the logo as well -- a big orange and green “U” on his shoulder.

“That says enough right there,” Alonso said when asked what the university means to him.

Alonso spent three seasons in Coral Gables, Fla. He still spends his offseason working out at the school’s facilities. Alonso grew up idolizing the program because he appreciated the way Miami played the game.

“A lot of swag,” Alonso said. “They knew they belonged, which is something big. You grow up watching them, imitating them and playing like them.”
At Miami, Alonso became good friends with Alex Rodriguez, who originally had committed to the Hurricanes in high school before he signed his first professional contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Their relationship started when Alonso asked Rodriguez if he could hit with him. Rodriguez thought it was funny Alonso wanted to compare himself to a professional baseball player, but agreed to Alonso’s request.

They went on to hit together for two months straight.

“Even to this day, I just talked to him a couple days ago and we were talking about how it was going with camp and (Padres manager) Bud Black,” Alonso said. “It’s just nice to have someone that knows the game that has been around the game for several years.”

Grandal and Alonso make sure to help current players on the team. It can become a difficult task now that they don’t reside on the East Coast for the majority of the year, but they understand how much the interaction with professional players benefited their play on the field.

“It’s a tradition, it’s an honor,” Alonso said. “With all of that said, you got to make sure you fit that role very well. If you don’t, it doesn’t sit very well with the people around there. You got to make sure that you not only carry it on the field but carry it outside the field, too.”


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(utsandiego.com)
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