Why the Detroit Lions should re-sign Tahir Whitehead

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Jordan Howard
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Jordan Howard /

After posting the best season of his career, it’s a no-brainer that the Detroit Lions should re-sign free agent linebacker Tahir Whitehead this offseason.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead just seems like a player Matt Patricia would love. The New England Patroits’ defensive coordinator has made a living turning players like Whitehead into Super Bowl champions. And as the new head coach for the Detroit Lions in 2018, re-signing Whitehead must be a top priority for him this offseason.

Currently a free agent, the 27-year old Whitehead is coming off the best season of his six-year career. Tahir made the switch back to the weakside prior to the season after the Lions drafted Jarrad Davis 21st overall in the 2017 NFL Draft to start at middle linebacker.

That move resulted in the Lions fielding one of the best linebacker combos in the league. Whitehead racked up 110 tackles, a sack, an interception, two pass defends and a crazy four fumble recoveries. While Davis led all rookies with 96 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, an interception and three pass defends.

But this kind of production isn’t new to Whitehead. Playing middle linebacker for Detroit in 2016, the veteran racked up an incredible 132 combined tackles, which was tied for the 8th most in the NFL that season.

The versatile Whitehead figures to be a critical piece in a Matt Patricia defense that changes schemes like the weather. And just listening to Tahir, you get the feeling he’s a coach’s dream.

"“I think I can play any scheme,” Whitehead told DetroitLions.com. “Whether 4-3 or 3-4, inside, outside, I can play anything and anywhere. It’s just a matter of learning it and training yourself to go out there and execute the job. I don’t limit myself to a particular scheme. I play football. I play linebacker. At the end of the day, it’s see ball get ball. Tackle the guy.”"

Next: Detroit Lions - Best and Worst of 2017 (part 2)

In order for Matt Patricia to quickly and effectively apply his new defensive scheme in Detroit, he’s going to need versatile players to implement it. And someone like Tahir Whitehead, who can play every linebacker position and is comfortable in the 4-3 or the 3-4, seems like a foundational piece this new coaching staff can build around. This one is a no-brainer folks! Bring #59 back to the Motor City!