Unlike the question marks on the defensive line, clearly the linebackers are better. Are they good enough to make us forget players like Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert and Lawrence Taylor? I think not, but the basic premise of being improved has been achieved. Which in turn should mean better overall play from the position.
This all leads us to the one group on the Lions defense that no one is spending too much time worrying about; the secondary.
Last season the Lions secondary played far better than expected as they were more often than not in the right position and opportunistic. After the insertion of Quandre Diggs at safety, they even took their game to a higher level.
Diggs became the secondary enforcer who consistently made the big hits and even came up with a few interceptions as well.
All of which means nothing going forward since we don’t know as yet how Patricia plans to use him. However, the return of Tavon Wilson and the additions of DeShawn Shead and third round draft pick Tracy Walker has added more talent and depth to the back-end of the Lions defense.
This group has versatility. Players who can cover, players who can hit and should be the strength of the Lions defense this season.
The real question is; will they get enough help from the front seven to make this defense really shine?