Aug 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Detroit Lions outside linebacker DeAndre Levy (54) blows a bubble on the sideline during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Honolulu Blue-Collar: DeAndre Levy

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Born and raised Wisconsin, 100% Detroit Lion, meet DeAndre Levy and his beard. Drafted by the Lions in 2009 in the 3rd round following the disastrous (and infamous) 0-16 season, Levy has played all five seasons of his NFL career in Detroit. He has played in 73 games, collecting 326 tackles (solo), 11 interceptions (two for TDs), and a sack. In his first four seasons, Levy played alone, but in 2013 he teamed up with his epic battle-beard and gathered his most impressive season stats to date.  In this last season, Levy had 85 tackles and 6 interceptions (1 TD).

Levy was quoted after the loss to the Giants as saying that the team had been “looking ahead,” and he explained that the team should have focused more on the games in front of them rather than looking past them. Most fans would agree that with Chicago and Green Bay nipping at their heels, the Lions should have focused more on securing those much needed wins. Detroit left far too many games asking themselves “what if?”

This coming season gives all teams in the NFL a fresh start, and the Lions look to start fresh with a new scheme on defense under new coach Jim Caldwell. One thing Detroit has in its favor this year is that they will not be as predictable. Smart, aggressive players like DeAndre Levy will be an excellent foundation on which to continue to build a tougher and better defense. Levy has proven to be a player that can take the ball away from the other team, and he’s hard to fool. He has a great attitude and sits in a position to be a leader to young players coming in from the draft this year.

Levy can only do so much, and on defense the Lions secondary needs addressed in 2014. Detroit had a lackluster pass defense the previous season, so they may draft a corner or safety this season. The Lions severely need the players already on the roster to play better, especially at corner. Last season was great for Levy, but Houston had a slump that didn’t help Detroit in winning the division. Mathis played well, but the rest were young and developing and making mistakes.  This coming season hopefully will see a boost in their play.

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