For the Detroit Lions to take the next step this year, the defense will have to carry its improvement from late last year into a full season. In a broad sense, as new secondary pieces need to gel, the defense is a potential fly in the ointment of the Lions' 2023 season.
Among Lions' coaches, defensive quality control coach Wayne Blair is not a headliner. It would probably take most us looking up the full coaching staff to even know his name. But he appeared on the most recent episode of "Twentyman In TheHuddle" with Lions.com writer Tim Twentyman, and he had some interesting things to say.
Blair talked about the versatility that has been added to the Lions secondary, and versatility across the defense in a total sense to open the playbook up for defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn.
"Skillset is something that definitely plays to our advantage. Kind of like I said, a ‘Swiss-Army knife’ definitely makes things all the better,” “So, if you have a guy that has that ability to cross over from a defensive end to an outside linebacker or a strong safety that can play nickel or corners that are able to play on the left and right side, I think that definitely again opens up something more for AG (Aaron Glenn)..."
Wayne Blair offers perfect label for identity Detroit Lions defense hopes to have
Blair went into his relationship with defensive lineman John Cominsky, eventually using Cominsky as an example of versatility and an example of the identity the Lions' defense wants to attain.
What word can be used to describe that desired identity? Blair offered a perfect one.
"Just outright violence and dictating the tempo of every down and distance. So, violence is the word,” Blair said, when asked to describe the team’s defensive identity."
Violence of course has to come within the rules, and the rules favoring offense make it hard to play defense in the NFL these days. But there will be no excuses, as this year's Lions' defense moves to put the times of the Detroit defense being a pushover in the past.
You can see the whole conversation Twentyman had with Blair below.