Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Special Teams Report Card

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Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin (6) holds the football as kicker David Akers (2) kicks a field goal during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In Detroit, the words “Special Teams” are usually met with a disgusted sneer.

Sometimes that sneer is accompanied by an enthusiastic call to fire whoever is in charge of them. Whether that call should be renewed is something to look for tomorrow, when I grade coach performance.

Today, I’m grading individual special teamers. Not the entire coverage unit, mind you (I try to cover players’ special teams contributions into their positional grades), but the specialists. The guys whose names you know, and cheer — or curse — for the 5-10 plays per game they actually feature in.

This is an interesting year for said specialists, since most of them are new to the Lions for the first time in several years. More than several, in the case of the first player up.

Tuesday, October 29 – Guards/Centers & Linebackers

Wednesday, October 30 – Offensive Tackles & Cornerbacks

Thursday, October 31 – Tight Ends & Safeties

Friday, November 1 Running Backs & Defensive Tackles

Saturday, November 2 – Special Teams

Sunday, November 3 Coaches

Monday, November 4 Wide Receivers & Defensive Ends

Tuesday, November 5 Quarterbacks & Overall Grades