When Stephen Tulloch signed a 5 year deal with the Lions prior to the 2012 season, fans expected him to be a consistent contributor. He’s done so, often leading the Lions in tackles while making the calls for the defense.
Martin Mayhew signed DeAndre Levy to a three-year deal this past offseason, and the move has made him look like a genius. Levy has emerged in 2013 as a playmaker on a Lions defense that so desperately needed one. He’s been excellent in pass coverage and has made Detroit fans forget about Justin Durant, a guy who many wished would have been re-signed instead of Levy.
The biggest concern coming into 2013 was the play of the left outside linebacker. The battle seemingly came down Ashlee Palmer and Tahir Whitehead. Concerns were at an all-time high during the preseason when it appeared that both were content to give the other the job, with each making critical mistakes in games. Palmer won the job, and while he’s been quite mediocre (at best), Gunther Cunningham has been able to combat that by bringing in his nickel package on most plays, leaving Levy and Tulloch on the field.
The Detroit linebackers (aided strongly by impressive play from Levy) seem to have become one of the stronger defensive units on Sundays and have seemed to ease worry among the fanbase.
Check out Dean Holden’s review of the Detroit linebacking corps here.