Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Safety Report Card

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John Wendling

Dec 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions free safety John Wendling (29) high fives free safety Louis Delmas (26) during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports


This is the part where we’re not really talking about defense anymore. Wendling is now, and has always been, a special teamer. He’s predictably good again this year, as part of a greatly improved special teams unit in general. He’s averaging a tackle a game, which isn’t bad considering the number of fair catches and touchbacks Sam Martin has forced this season.

Grade: B


If there’s such a thing as an “impact” special teams coverage player, Wendling qualifies. He’s always in position, is always around the ball on punts, and rarely misses tackles. That said, there probably isn’t such a thing as an “impact” special teams coverage player. Split the difference, then.

Grade: C

Vs. Expectations

Wendling gets paid to be a great special teamer. Wendling is a great special teamer. Nothing more, nothing less. End of discussion.

Grade: C+


With the exception of a few games in which he was forced into action with the defense (with results that were worse than average, but better than disastrous), Wendling has been the same guy for years. Put him in on special teams and don’t worry about it. Textbook definition of a solid role player.

Grade: B