Many Lion fans were calling for the first round pick to be spent on CB Prince Amukamara or Jimmy Smith. When the Lions didn’t pick a single corner in the draft many fans (including me) started to panic. I came up with three simple reasons why you should feel more confident about the 2011 Detroit Lions secondary.
3.) Amari Spievey / Erik Coleman
Last year, Amari Spievey was drafted from Iowa to play cornerback for the Lions and as you know he was switched to Safety during training camp. With a year under his belt, Spievey has more knowledge and feel for his new position. Before the old CBA expired, the Lions signed veteran safety Erik Coleman. Erik Coleman was cut by the Falcons after a season where he struggled with a knee injury. In his eight-year career, Coleman has recorded over 600 tackles (433 solo) and 10 interceptions even with almost no production last year. The signing of Erik Coleman creates a competition for the position. This is a win-win situation for the Lions. The Lions now have more depth at the position and Coleman will help speed up the process of transition for Spievey by teaching him the ins and outs of the position.
Last year the Detroit secondary was riddled with injuries. They should all be healed up with this long offseaon. Let’s begin with Louis Delmas. Delmas showed a great amount of promise his rookie year but this past year wasn’t as impressive. An explanation for the decline is that he dealt with a severe groin injury for the whole year. Newer reports tell that Delmas is fully recovered from the injury. Look for him to have a great year in 2011. Alphonso Smith started the season off with a bang, intercepting 5 passes in the first 8 games. In Week 13 against the Bears he suffered a season ending shoulder injury. Aaron Berry had 3 tackles and an interception in Week 1 before injuring his shoulder. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.
1.) The Defensive Line
Drafting Nick Fairley solidified the Defensive Line for the Lions. Fairley combined with Suh, KVB, Williams, McBride, and Avril might be the best line in football. Having this great line takes some pressure off the secondary. The opposing quarterback won’t have as much time to sit in the pocket surveying the field. He will be rushed and as a result will make bad passes or force passes that have the opportunity to be intercepted. Also, the secondary won’t have to guard the receivers as long, reducing the possibility of getting burned for a big play. Silver Crush will most likely be the secondary’s greatest asset.