OT: Lions sign Rugby player to practice squad

Submitted by GoWings2008 on December 27th, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Welp, the season is effectively over but some interesting moves happening.  This isn't a big change to their line up, obviously, but a human interest story nonetheless.  Heralded as the fastest Rugby player in the world, Carlin Isles has the size of a Gallon or a Welker type player.  Curious to see if we hear the guy's name on Sundays in the future.



Captain Hindsight

December 27th, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

You have to remember that this kid plays rugby sevens, not 15s.  Sevens is all about speed, quickness, and fancy moves.  15s is the more traditional game: strengh, power, and hard hitting.

He made a big splash when he started playing last year because he's got a chance to score every time he touches the ball out on the wing.  He has Denard-like qualities that make you shake your head in disbelief.  Gave me a reason to start watching the Eagles again, even though they are still terrible.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

As long as your build is pretty "athletic" you can definitely do well in rugby without being massive. This guy looked fine from the youtube footage.

The only time it really becomes an issue is when you're being asked to defend against a significantly bigger opposite number. Fortunately Jonah Lomus don't come along every day.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

As far as I remember Carlin plays wing, which is kind of like the Rugby equivalent of a Field CB/Wide Out. If he gets the ball hes likely the last guy on his team to touch it and is trying to run away from the smaller faster defenders.

On the other hand defensively hes the last line (excluding a lone safety) of defense and is mostly tasked with tackling guys his own size. Carlin is small even for a Wing player but he wouldnt be expected to take on larger players successfully very often.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

I believe that 4.22 would actually beat the fastest official times (at least the ones I can remember) by just a hair. Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 in 2008, as I recall, and Marquise Goodwin put in a sub-4.3 just this year. If you want to go back to the days before electronic timing was always a thing, then you're talking about players like Bo Jackson and Michael Bennett (also maybe Joey Galloway, Darrell Green and perhaps some others) who were reported to have times below the 4.2 mark. 

Everyone Murders

December 27th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

He ran an electronically-timed 4.22 40, and said if they let him run it again it would be a 4.1.  He's likely a candidate for kick and punt returns.  According to the article he's got a track background primarily, and seems to be a quick study.

With the Lions' IR additions this week and a practice squad vacancy, it seems like a cost-free addition to the team.  Good move by the Lions - lately it seems the "doh!" moments are coming more from the coaching staff than the GM.  It's obviously not an "in Dave Dombrowski we trust" situation, but Mahew's generally done OK the past few years.*

*Pay no attention to Titus Young and Javid Best - move along, now, nothing to see.


December 27th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

As times get harder and Carlin seems to be their only way out, the Lions in their desperation will begin a slow conversion to an all-rugby style of play, featuring a heavy option-based attack, multiple laterals per play, and plays that chew up an entire five minutes before they're done. 

This offense, once perfected, will be utterly unstoppable and begin a new era in football as teams convert en masse to the philosophy.  Gone will be the slow pocket passers, replaced by tough Tom Slade-like QBs who can run and block both. 

I foresee no possible complications.  Yes.



December 27th, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

is he buying the team? Can he be an owner? This reeks of similarity to the kickalicious a few months ago. Remember? He could kick 75 yard field goals. What has this organizations front office ever done to convince you this guy can do anything but run fast?


December 27th, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

I don't understand how someone could grow up in Massilon, OH and learn that he's very talented at rugby without considering football. Wouldn't a really, really fast kid from Massilon be pulled onto his high school team and be recognized as talented?


December 27th, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

If nothing else, let the dude run a few kickoffs out and see what happens. If you muff a kickoff there's not much harm done, but I wouldn't let him return punts yet. Looking at his history, he's actually played football. He's from Massillon, Ohio, which is where some of Michigan's players are from right? 

Edit: Looks like Gareon Conley is from Massillon, Ohio as well. I knew I had seen that place somewhere. WR Devin Smith who plays WR for OSU is also from there. Justin Turner as well. Justin actually played football with Carlin in high school. 

Carlin's football profile from back in the day: http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/player-Carlin-Isles-65…



December 27th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

I was just listening to former Giant LB Carl Banks' radio spot on WFAN over here and he  said that if the Jets fire Rex Ryan he hopes they do it on Monday so that the Lions can hire him. He thinks Rex would do great in Detroit. Most people over here think he's a dead man walking even though he did more with the Jets this year than anybody thought he'd do.

James Burrill Angell

December 27th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

Just looking for SOMETHING positive about the Lions. Too bad they have him on practice squad. This weeks game is so meaningless I'm probably not going to bother watching. I might have if they threw this dude in just to see what his story is.


December 27th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

Football is a game of specialists - especially at the highest levels. Being incredibly fast but not being a great tackler is an asset on a football field, because your liabilities can be mitigated by taking you off the field. Having watched him play rugby he is stupid fast - not a great tackler and as a back he's not asked to get too involved in the other hitting aspects. But like Schwarz said - he looks like a track star in a rugby uniform. I think football is much better for his skill set than rugby union. He could end up like a Devin Hester, worst case. Desmond did win a SB MVP that way, didn't he?