While the re-signing of cornerback Chris Houston has been well received by Lions fans it isn’t necessarily the name most were looking for to headline the position group. Houston was generally solid for the Lions last season but no one will mistake him for Nnamdi Asomugha or Johnathan Joseph. The good news is that he won’t have to play like one of those guys thanks to the defensive line and improved group of linebackers.
Eric Wright is still a young player but brings starting experience with him. He may have fallen out of favor in Cleveland but there is reason to believe he possesses untapped potential and could thrive in Detroit.
Aaron Berry was an undrafted free agent that made the team and a starting job last season. He is an easy name to forget thanks to his week one injury that knocked him out for the rest of the season. The coaching staff was clearly impressed with him a year ago and it would be foolish to dismiss Berry as a possible contributor this season.
Alphonso Smith was one of last season’s pleasant surprises until falling off towards the end of the season. He flashed the ability, now he needs to show consistency.
Nathan Vasher may have been the Lions best corner during their four game winning streak to close the 2010 season. The team could depend on him lat last season and should feel comfortable if he earns the time in 2011.
Those are four names that have very little to distinguish one from another. None of the four should feel confident in seeing the field just by showing up. Playing time will be earned and we should expect the position battle to raise the game of the player involved. Competition is a result of good depth, something the Lions will finally see at cornerback.
The cornerback battle will be a fun one to watch as the regular season draws closer. I won’t pretend to know how the cornerback situation will shake out but I am sure that the “winners” will have proven themselves to be solid contributors while the “losers” will be hungry to compete for some of that playing time. It has been a long time since we’ve seen a Detroit Lions position battle that was determined by who stepped up rather than who flamed out. Enjoy it.