Scanning the Savanna

Scanning the Savanna is a daily feature that brings fresh Detroit Lions and NFL related content to your fingertips each morning. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s scan the savanna together.

Rob Callaway can stroll through downtown without getting bothered.


He can walk through the Genesee Valley Center without being hounded for autographs. Callaway can even chill on Bluebell Beach peacefully.


Although the 6-foot-5, 312-pound, 23-year-old has the obvious frame of an NFL player, many people in his hometown aren’t aware that he’s a member of the Detroit Lions.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz’s vision of “what we like to do” came to light when he proclaimed, “We will stop the run on the way to the QB.” This philosophy stands in contrast to those D-lines who “read, and react” with the exception of designated pass rushing LBs, usually found in 3-4 defenses.

Finally in possession of the D-line talent in 2010 that allowed Schwartz, and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, to begin implementing their philosophy, they had to come up with schemes that would put their players “in the best position to be successful.”

One of the biggest challenges the Lions have had to overcome in their rebuilding effort has been convincing free agent to come to Detroit. But it’s just as important going forward that the franchise reward those players that have come in and done well, despite trying circumstances.

Cliff Avril falls under that umbrella. The defensive end out of Purdue is entering what will likely be the last year of his rookie deal in Detroit — assuming the NFL lockout ends with four-year vets being able to become unrestricted free agents.

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Tags: Cliff Avril Detroit Lions Kyle Vanden Bosch Robert Callaway

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