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 Lions evaluating defense for personnel changes 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Lions evaluating defense for personnel changes
http://www.mlive.com/lions/stories/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1107256205129650.xml

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The only positions the Lions don't need to address is defensive tackle, where they have Shaun Rogers and Dan Wilkinson, and cornerback.

At defensive end, James Hall and Cory Redding are the starters but, at the backup position, Kalimba Edwards has been inconsistent and Jared DeVries is coming off sports hernia surgery.

At safety, Brock Marion struggled last season and could be replaced while Bracy Walker, who might stick as a backup, won't be the starter on the strong side next season.

The Lions are deep at linebacker but there are questions. Can Boss Bailey, who missed last season with a knee problem, return healthy for a full season? Teddy Lehman did a decent job in Bailey's spot, but will he be successful if he shifts to the middle or weak side? The Lions could make an upgrade at any of the three positions, either in the draft or free agency.


Lets hope that they can actually figure out what it is that they want to do on Defense.

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February 1st, 2005, 9:42 am
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I hope Lehman gets in a good offseason workout cause he is very skilled and quick but he needs to pack on a bit of muscle IMO to keep up.

I am sure we will add on a saftey either in FA or the draft...I like our d-line rotation a whole lot. For the most part a good young crew.

We will see how Bryant does and if he can stay healty as well...Dre Bly had me at hello though :oops:

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February 1st, 2005, 10:28 am
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Defensive tackle is set. Ends weren't that bad, especially Hall. Redding was OK. I'm tired of Kalimba - we've all heard about his talent but it hasn't materialized. Actually I was very impressed with DeVries when he was on the field.

At linebacker. I agree, Lehman needs to pack on some muscle this off season. Holmes played decent last season but age is of concern. Boss - get well man. I like Curry and Davis as depth guys. Let's also not forget about Lewis, I thought he showed promise. I don't think LB is one of the areas we can focus on right now.

CB - Bly, Bryant, Cash, Goodman, Keith Smith, etc... Lot's of bodies there, we just need to work it out.

Safety - this is where the Lions need a lot of work. Marion is too old. Both Walkers need to go. We haven't seen enough of Holt to really judge him either. The Lions need to address both SS and FS in either the draft or FA.

Relatively few major holes on defense - that's the good news. Now if they can just stop teams late in the 4th quarter we would be OK... :roll:


February 1st, 2005, 1:16 pm
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I was noticing (as I am sure others have as well) that in a few of our games where we lost ones that were close. If our "o" could have managed a couple of drives to eat up some time on the clock in the 4th we could have easily had a winning record.

Man, am I sick of saying there is always next year.

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February 1st, 2005, 2:07 pm
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Quote:
The Lions could make an upgrade at any of the three positions, either in the draft or free agency.


I wonder if that means if DJ is there at 10 that we might take him. We would be set at LB for quite awhile I would imagine

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February 1st, 2005, 3:23 pm
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In my humble opinion, the Lions are NOT set at defensive tackle. Wilkinson and S. Rogers are the only ones currently under contract. Marcus Bell and Kelvin Pritchett are set to become free agents. Wilkinson was really struggling toward the end of the season, and offers nothing in regards to a pass rush. Bell played well as part of the rotation but saw limited action. I think Kelvin Pritchett played admirably, but it's time for him to retire. All that being said, the Lions should look very closely at getting another defensive tackle, preferably in free agency. Philadelphia will likely resign Corey Simons, but Chris Hovan and Monsanto Pope will be available. I think Hovan may just need a change of scenery from Minnesota. Who knows? Point is, I just don't feel that the statement the Lions are set at DT is totally accurate.


February 1st, 2005, 9:02 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
Point is, I just don't feel that the statement the Lions are set at DT is totally accurate.


You are correct, I just don't think it needs to be one of the priorites. I'm also assuming the Lions will resign Bell (I shouldn't be assuming that). They likely will need to add a DT at some point.

Still, safety is a glaring hole and needs the most attention on defense. After that, I just don't see huge needs at DE, LB or CB. How long has it been since we could say that? Of course, adding to any of these positions in FA or the draft just makes it that much stronger.


February 1st, 2005, 9:15 pm
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I completely agree that DT is not a priority and can be addressed without a feeling of urgency. I would very much like for Marcus Bell to be re-signed, and suspect the effort will be made to do so. I think I have been on record since late 2003 as saying that the Lions most outstanding weakness on defense is their safeties. Still, the Lions have done little to address the problem, but they really better do something this year. I wouldn't be terribly upset if they cut Brian Walker and Brock Marion, let Bracy and Vernon Fox depart in free agency, kept just Terrance Holt and built up the ranks from there.
I, like you, do not see a huge need for another DE, LB or a CB. An accomplished pass rusher to line up opposite James Hall would be nice, but not a huge necessity. Bly and Bryant aren't going anyplace, and Smith got better each game. As for our linebackers, we have great starters and solid depth. Holmes will play out his last contract year in 2005, so the Lions don't need to find someone this year to replace him. If Ed Hartwell can be signed, or a Barrett Ruud falls to them in the draft, then sure, pull the trigger. But again, it's not a must have situation like safety, guard and tight end.


February 1st, 2005, 11:05 pm
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Defensive needs:

DE: If the organization doesn't want Redding to start, they will draft someone in the first. I think they like Redding, I like Redding, and I don't think this is a huge need.

DT: Actually, a large need. We have Shaun, he is great. Dan is 32 (?), had a poor season statistically (although he took up a lot of space in run defense), and there is little depth behind him. Pritchett could retire/is a UFA. Marcus Bell is a UFA. So the only people we have under contract are Rogers and Wilkinson. I'm guessing get someone here.

OLB: If Derrick Johnson is there at #10, take him. End of discussion. Move Teddy inside and we are set for 5 years. If we don't take Johnson, we are still set. Keep Teddy outside, and we also have Boss.

MLB: Holmes is fine. His contract is up next year though, so we need a replacement. Rainer is a UFA, and won't be back most likely. So a draft pick here is most likely, in the mid-late rounds.

CB: Is Fernando Bryant a starting caliber cornerback? He got burnt several times last season, and the scapegoat for benching him has been his contract. I think that Bly is fine, keep him as our #1 CB. Maybe Antrel Rolle or Pac-Man Jones? Don't know. This is an interesting position. Cash and Goodman are RFAs. Hopefully one or both will be back. Sidney will be gone, he is a UFA and was injured all season. Keith Smith, he was solid this season, just missed that interception that would have won the GB game for us. He can play nickel next season. But this position needs to be addressed, and I don't know exactly what to do.

S: Biggest need on the team. Marion is overrated by his stats, he played well at spurts, but I don't see him as the starter. Terrence Holt deserves a starting role, Mooch gave him an oppurtunity in Week 17. Maybe keeping him as a rotational player between SS and FS next year, and then letting him take over for Marion is a good idea. Brian Walker is going to be released, Bracy may be resigned, ONLY FOR SPECIAL TEAMS. We need a starting SS, Holt may be that answer, if not, Thomas Davis, Ernest Shazor, or Brodney Pool. Donovin Darius as well.

Thoughts?


February 2nd, 2005, 1:46 am
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m2karateman wrote:
I wouldn't be terribly upset if they cut Brian Walker and Brock Marion, let Bracy and Vernon Fox depart in free agency, kept just Terrance Holt and built up the ranks from there.


I remember in a press conference that Mooch said he really liked the play of Fox, and that his solid play on special teams wasn't going unnoticed. He is a RFA, I expect us to tender him, hopefully he can compete for a safety position next season.


February 2nd, 2005, 1:48 am
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m2karateman wrote:
Philadelphia will likely resign Corey Simons, but Chris Hovan and Monsanto Pope will be available. I think Hovan may just need a change of scenery from Minnesota. Who knows? Point is, I just don't feel that the statement the Lions are set at DT is totally accurate.


Agree that I think we need to get someone at DT, but disagree with your player examples. Simon will most likely walk. Hovan is off to Arizona, he has already expressed his intent to go there, and Pope is nothing more than a role player. I actually think that someone like Anthony Bryant, DT, Alabama, who earned high reviews at the senior bowl would be a nice addition in the late rounds, or even Mike Patterson in the second. He was unstoppable.


February 2nd, 2005, 1:50 am
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If Simons leaves Philly, the Lions should pursue him. As long as he's not asking too much, he would be a welcome addition. He's not an elite player, but the Lions already have that. I hadn't heard about Hovans intent on going to AZ. Makes sense that he would want to play for Dennis Green again. I don't think Anthony Bryant played that well. He may have done better than what some people expected, but he wasn't exactly a force out there, and played entirely too high most plays and failed to move people often enough. He wasn't even present as part of the pass rush. Wilkinson already does all that for us. Patterson, however, would be an interesting addition. His fireplug stature and high rev motor could really turn into something in the pros.


February 2nd, 2005, 1:21 pm
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move bryant to safety...draft rolle...just because the lions over paid for bryant they don't need to be foolish and pass up the opportunity for two game changing db's...i think that shazor will disappoint and would be leary of drafting him...the key to success in the nfl is to have the best athletes/players not the most guys who fit the prototype mold for each position...this keeps surfacing in the league analysis...the best athletes will excel on the field...i.e. the patriots


February 2nd, 2005, 11:27 pm
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I must say this forum is alot more positive then others I have been to. I like the idea of picking up Derrick Johnson or Alex Barron with the 10th pick, then a safety in the second round. We still have the need at TE, I read a article yesterday that the Packers have yet to aproach Bubba. He would be a good pick up. I like the idea of picking up a third string QB in the third or fourth round. I am assuming that we are going to pick up a veteran QB in FA to challenge for the starting spot. I would like to see Bryant healthy before I make a decision on what to do with him. He made it to the Pro Bowl once, maybe with some time to heal he can get back to that form.

He is a cool link for those of you that have not seen it yet. Has updated info about a lot of players and whats going on with them. Worth checking out.

http://www.profantasysports.com/player_reports/

Paco


February 3rd, 2005, 3:04 pm
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He Paco...welcome to the boards!!! We can be positive and negative as well when necessary. We certainly were not singing the praises when Ted Tollner was hired but we grin and bear it cause we are Lions fans and that is just what we do :D Plus I think most people believe that this team has a nice future with much the young talent.

No matter what defense defines the difference between a playoff team and a Super Bowl contender.

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February 3rd, 2005, 3:17 pm
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