Unless you’re inclined to believe Lions Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham that cornerback Aaron Berry is the younger, more talented version of Darrell Revis, the Lions need someone to do something significant in the battle for their other starting cornerback job.
Berry supposedly had that spot on lockdown, but his awful playoff showing, subsequent Twitter-spat with fans and an idiotic offseason DUI that followed repeated team warnings, puts Berry clearly in a “put-up or shut-up” position. We’ve been told so much of Berry’s potential but have seldom seen it during his two year tenure with the Lions. He had an interception in his first game as pro, but hasn’t shown much since, especially when pressed into duty, he was humiliated by Drew Brees in the Lions playoff loss and is getting dangerously close to Artose Pinner-level in the unfulfilled expectations category.
While Chris Houston has been a pleasant surprise since coming over from Atlanta, the Lions other starting CB left town when Eric Wright signed a ludicrous contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s already rewarding the Bucs for their faith in him with a DUI of his own. Unless another camp casualty is signed, the main competition for the sport will be in the form of an also-ran, Jacob Lacey formerly of the Colts, a former Lions reclamation project, Alphonso Smith, and a host of rookies—most notably Chris Greenwood from Albion College.
Smith played bad in the playoff game as well, although not as bad as Berry, but he’s showed some flashes in 2010 with the Lions after being picked up from the scrap heap in Denver. Lacey was merely adequate for an awful Colts team so it’s not realistic to expect a major upgrade with him. The best chance for the Lions to upgrade the position is for Greenwood to become the Lions own Charles Tillman. Like Greenwood, Tillman was a big corner and small college standout before being selected by the Bears in the 2nd round of the 2003 draft. He’s been terrorizing Lions quarterbacks ever since.
An ideal situation is that the Lions have found their own Tillman and that we can finally stop talking about Aaron Berry.