Look Out NFL, The Detroit Lions Are Unleashing Their Grey Scheme

Jan 7, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) tries to escape Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril (92) and Ndamukong Suh (90) during the 2011 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Lions’ Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham has been trying to find ways to utilize Ndamukong Suh to help prevent teams from neutralizing him. Last season teams such as San Fransisco, let Suh dictate where he wanted to go, then they ran the ball the opposite direction which often resulted in big runs.

To prevent this from happening again in 2012, Cunningham has invented a scheme that not only makes it difficult to neutralize Suh, but allows Suh and fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley to reek havoc on opposing quarterbacks by lining them up as defensive ends and lining the ends up at defensive tackle. Cunningham calls this scheme “Grey”, after the movie staring Liam Neeson, where a pack of wolves hunts down Neeson and his team in Alaska while they are drilling for oil.

“If you watch that movie you will know what I mean. Those wolves kind of tricked ’em and that’s kind of what we’re doing.”

This scheme makes it near impossible for opposing offenses to game plan a protection scheme against the Lions’ ferocious front four, as they have no way of knowing when the Grey will be unleashed.

I tip my hat off to Cunningham for finding such a creative way to utilize Suh and Fairley’s athleticism to get to the quarterback more effectively. Cunningham played Suh at linebacker some in his rookie season which resulted in good pressure and sacks. Expect to see him do this again this season to keep offenses scratching their head on how to contain him.

Pairing Suh with Fairley more often this season is something fans are eager to see. Adding the Grey scheme should make this duo even more dangerous and should bolster the secondary as they try to form an identity.