With veterans set to report to training camp in just two days the Lions have many questions they hope to answer, namely, who will start at corner opposite of Chris Houston? Corner Aaron Berry has recently been cut for his second arrest in one month which leaves Alphonso Smith, Jacob Lacey, Jonte Green, Bill Bentley and Chris Greenwood fighting for the open position.
While Greenwood impressed early this off season, an abdominal injury has sidelined him for most, if not all of training camp which all but eliminates his chances of starting this season. Greenwood was a long shot to start this season anyway due to playing division three football in college, although he is one of the more athletic players on the entire roster and perhaps the most intriguing. Although Greenwood has had a minor setback he is still confident about competing for playing time this season. Greenwood had this to say after Berry was cut for the Lions:
“I’m still going to approach it the same way that I would have if he was here. It’s still a competition for that spot. You got to work hard and grind.”
With Greenwood out for now, and Jonte Green viewed as a developmental player, it looks as if it’s a three man race for the final starting spot between Lacey, Bentley and Smith.
If Bentley doesn’t appear ready to start this season the Lions will likely look to get him on the field as much as possible to help speed up his development.
Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has been reluctant to start rookie defensive backs in the past. With that said, look for Bill Bentley to see most of his minutes as a nickle corner early on in the season while he gets acclimated to the NFL and earns Cunningham’s trust. I see Lacey starting for the Lions this season as the number two corner, but Smith should see a fair amount of reps as well.
Veterans will be reporting to training camp Thursday with the first practice beginning on Friday. Let’s hope training camp provides the Lions with the answer they are looking for at corner.