Detroit Lions rookie cornerback Bill Bentley showed a little skill Friday night in a 19-17 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit.
However, despite Bentley's perceived ability -- and a couple nice plays, too -- Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn't ready to praise the youngster.
Many were quick to credit that effort, but Lions head coach Jim Schwartz wasn't ready to say that his rookie starting cornerback had a good game.
“No,” Schwartz said when asked if he was happy with how Bentley played. “It’s too inconsistent play for a cornerback. Give up a deep ball – that’s something that we shouldn’t allow to happen – and we were 50-percent on making interceptions."
Schwartz was referring to the Browns' 34-yard completion over Bentley's head and his dropped interception in the second quarter.
“I don’t think that’s a good day at all for what he can do," he continued. "I mean, he has a chance if he knocks the deep ball away and makes two interceptions in this game to have done something for himself. But 50-50 isn't going to get it done.”
The secondary is the biggest question surrounding the Lions' defense. Bentley, though, could end up being a darkhorse in the fold. He may just turn some heads. But he has to watch the deep ball and make good on interception opportunities.
On Aug. 9, Schwartz delivered kind words regarding Bentley. The Lions coach expects a lot this season. A "good enough" showing isn't... well... good enough for Schwartz. But he told ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert that he liked Bentley's progress during drills and workouts.
"We wouldn't put somebody out there that's going to break down in coverage and doesn't know what to do, regardless of where we've drafted him," Schwartz said. "We've never been that team. You've got to earn your way on, and he's done a lot in training camp.
"This is an important stretch for him because you go from rookie camp, doing something there. [Organized team activities], doing something there. Training camp, making some plays there. And then you need to maintain that through preseason games. And then if you continue to see that, you feel a lot better going into the season. He's done well every step along the way. This is the next step for him."
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