Detroit's rookie defensive end Cory Redding celebrates his fumble recovery and six-yard TD with safety Lamar Campbell. Redding is from the University of Texas.
DUANE BURLESON / AP Enlarge
DETROIT - Dreams do come true. After all, how many defensive linemen score touchdowns during their NFL debuts?
Detroit defensive end Cory Redding, a rookie from the University of Texas, did it yesterday in the Lions' 26-13 exhibition win over Pittsburgh.
He recovered a fumble by Steelers quarterback Brian St. Pierre and ran six yards for the touchdown to give the Lions a 23-6 lead late in the third.
“James Davis made the play, getting the sack and causing the fumble,'' Redding said. “I was in the right spot. But that's a dream for a defensive lineman.
“We [rookies] talked all week about how we wanted to contribute. The No. 1 defense was flying around, hitting people, and when we young guys got in we had to stay focused and keep up that same level of intensity. I think we did that.''
QUOTING MOOCH: “We cannot be satisfied with a preseason win,'' said Detroit coach Steve Mariucci. “What matters is that we improve from here and correct mistakes. This was a good start, but just a start.''
THE MISSING: Detroit scratched 12 players from yesterday's exhibition because of injuries. Among them were No. 1 draft pick Charles Rogers, fellow receivers Az-Zahir Hakim and Eddie Drummond, free agent cornerback Dre Bly and defensive tackle Luther Elliss.
“We hope to get a lot of them back next week, but whether they play [next Saturday at Cincinnati] depends on how much practice time they get,'' Mariucci said.
THREE-DOT DATA: Linebacker Earle Holmes stretched a hamstring, rookie LB James Davis suffered a right shoulder stinger and DE Robert Porcher “tweaked “ a knee, according to Mariucci. He said none of the injuries appeared serious ... The Lions were not guilty of a turnover and had just four five-yard penalties ... The Steelers were buried three straight times by John Jett punts and excellent special team coverage to start first-half drives from their 2, 9 and 6-yard lines.