ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -Mike Furrey has been largely forgotten at Detroit Lions training camp.
With all the talk about Detroit's new run-oriented offense and its potent receiving duo of Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, no one has been talking about Furrey.
``This is going to be very good for all of the receivers, not just Roy and Calvin,'' Furrey said Tuesday. The Lions play an exhibition game at Cincinnati on Sunday.
Furrey didn't come to Detroit as a first-round pick like Johnson, Williams and flops like Charles Rogers and Mike Williams. In his past two seasons in St. Louis, he had caught one pass for 8 yards.
But Mike Martz liked Furrey's game and brought him to the Lions when he took over as offensive coordinator in 2006. That season, Furrey caught 98 passes for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns.
Last season, he moved from the No. 2 spot to No. 3 after Johnson's arrival but still had 61 receptions for 664 yards.
Now, Martz and his pass-heavy offense have moved onto San Francisco to be replaced by new offensive coordinator Jim Colletto. That means an attack based on the running game, which will put fewer balls in the air for Johnson, Williams and Furrey.
Williams and Johnson both have been vocal about embracing the new plan, figuring that forcing defenses to focus on a running game will mean more big-play opportunities for them.
In turn, Furrey thinks that a credible running game and a pair of big-play receivers will mean that defenses won't be able to put as much effort into stopping the kind of underneath routes that have become his specialty.
``This is going to really open things up, because teams are going to have to pay attention to the run and try to stop Roy and Calvin,'' he said. ``It's going to be good.''
Lions coach Rod Marinelli agrees, having stressed for months that the Lions have to build off an improved running game.
``That's the key - that's what everything else builds off,'' he said. ``When a team starts to be able to dominate the line and run the ball, you can see the way it changes the chemistry and the energy levels. That's what we have to have.''
So Furrey is looking forward to the regular season, something that seems much closer now that the Lions have played their first exhibition game.
``This is the easy part of camp,'' he said. ``The hardest part is all the practices without any games. Now that we have started playing games, we're almost home.''
Notes: The team held a full-squad workout in the morning and a special teams practice in the afternoon. Both sessions were open to the public, but did not draw large crowds. ... Johnson took part in individual drills during the morning practice, but sat out full-team sessions to rest a bruised leg. ``We're just being cautious with him - he's fine,'' Marinelli said. ... Offensive line coach Mike Barry threw G Manny Ramirez off the field during a drill that took place after the main morning session. After an exchange of words, Ramirez picked up his helmet and went inside while the other linemen continued the drill.

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