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Draft Scout News
09/01/14 - DT Nick Fairley earned his starting job back after being demoted during the preseason. He also hired a personal chef and has lost 10 pounds the last two weeks.
08/21/14 - DT Nick Fairley addressed the media Wednesday for the first time since being demoted to the second-team defense and said he still plans to be a starter this season. However, Fairley said he's up to 315 pounds already after being down to 295 in late May. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin thinks Fairley is "on track" to provide what the team needs this year, but he still has work to do to leapfrog C.J. Mosley, who's entering his 10th season and second in Detroit.
08/11/14 - DT Nick Fairley raised his hands in silence when asked why he was playing with the second-team defense during Detroit Lions' training camp Monday.
Coach Jim Caldwell was annoyed by the question about why Fairley wasn't with the starters.
"Who said he was playing on the twos?" Caldwell said. "Was there a depth chart that said anything about it?"
Fairley is listed as a starter for Friday's preseason game in Oakland, but there was no denying his placement Monday.
Fairley's weight has been a constant issue since he entered the NFL as a first-round pick in 2011, and Caldwell did not say whether it continues to be a problem. Fairley was down to 295 in May, but was back up to 305 when he reported for training camp.
Caldwell said 305 pounds was in Fairley's weight range before camp started, but Fairley appears to already have gained weight since then. He played at about 320 pounds in 2013.
"One of the things about him, he's a big man," Caldwell said. "He's got some strength and ability. He can probably carry more weight than most people at his size because of his strength, and he's working to get to a comfortable weight, I think, and I think he's on his way."
During 11-on-11 drills, C.J. Mosley and Jason Jones, who plays end and tackle, filled Fairley's spot next to Ndamukong Suh on the interior with the first-team defense, and Fairley played with the twos.
While the ones practiced, Fairley stood away from his teammates with his arms folded and helmet pushed to the top of his head. He also was toward the back of the group during the team huddle at the close of practice.
Fairley had one tackle in 12 snaps in Saturday's exhibition victory over the Cleveland Browns.
"Just like everybody else, we could be better," Caldwell said.
Ultimately, Fairley will remain the starter, but it was clear he was being punished for an undisclosed reason.
"What you see more so than anything else is we decide how we rep guys," Caldwell said. "It doe
06/03/14 - DT Nick Fairley returned to Lions' organized team activities this week after being absent the first two weeks due to a recent sleep apnea procedure.
And after three seasons of inconsistent play, Fairley looks ready to fight for a lucrative contract, dropping 27 pounds after playing last season at about 320 pounds.
Fairley made his first public appearance at Lions' headquarters Tuesday since last season, and in March, general manager Martin Mayhew said the team would not pick up the fifth-year option for the 2011 first-round pick. Mayhew also said he wanted Fairley to be more involved in the offseason program and be healthier moving forward.
Hearing the initial contract news was surprising for Fairley, but he said it will motivate him. He's also excited to get into his second NFL contract sooner than many of his fellow first-round picks.
"My first year wasn't too good, but my next two I came on," Fairley said Tuesday. "But they didn't pick it up, so we've just got to move on and get ready for this year. And things are going to be good."
Fairley's assessment of his first three seasons was accurate. After having just 15 tackles, one for loss and one sack as a rookie, he had 34 tackles, eight for loss, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2012. In 2013, Fairley had 35 tackles, three for loss, six sacks, one forced fumble and one safety.
Despite the solid numbers, Fairley was inconsistent the past two seasons, partly because of his poor conditioning. If Fairley ever reaches the talent he displayed during Auburn's national championship season in 2010, he and Ndamukong Suh would create incredible interior havoc for offenses.
First-year defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said he still has more to learn about Fairley, but likes his personality so far.
"I think the key will be when he leaves here and then when he comes back in camp if he's still in that great shape with his weight down," Austin said. "It's going to be great for us."
12/23/13 - DT Nick Fairley had his most productive day of the season with a safety and a forced fumble. Fairley sacked quarterback Eli Manning in the end zone in the third quarter, part of a 17- 0 surge by the Lions. He also forced a fumble in the Giants first possession of overtime. All for naught.
"It sucks," he said. "Long offseason. I was just telling the guys in the shower, going to be a long offseason."