Photo by: Dona Keast and Kent Lee Platte
Overall Stock Up!
Oh yeah, I’m not joking here. That’s not sarcasm. There’s actually a lot to like from the Lions secondary so far. Is it still a concern? Sure. But not the doomsday storm of terrible many believe it to be. I came into camp expecting to see long-in-the-tooth vet Reshean Mathis desperately clinging to whatever youth he can while the inconsistent Darius Slay and co. fought for the #2 (?) position. As it is, it’s much more defined than that. Several players have had ups and downs, but the position group as a whole has done fairly well.
Reshean Mathis looks strong and capable whenever he’s covering non-Calvin Johnson receivers. He’s actually received a fairly light workload, allowing a much clearer look at the younger players than I’m used to seeing (Jim Schwartz and his veteran buffer is long gone). Darius Slay has had his ups and downs, but it’s generally positive. The most surprising part about Slay is that he is undoubtedly the leader of the defensive secondary. He is a vocal player and constantly working with the other younger corners when they make mistakes or congratulating them when they do well.
Joining him in the ‘vocal’ category are fellow third year corners Bill Bentley and Jonte Green. Bentley had a rough start to camp and there was some doubt he’d even make the roster. He’s rebounded quite well, possibly in part due to the confidence the staff has shown in his ability to move inside and outside seamlessly. Add to that the refreshing step forward that Jonte Green has taken and suddenly the Lions have a CB corps that doesn’t look half bad.