After be undressed by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, to the tune of nearly 400 yards and 37 points, the Detroit Lions have some issues to fix defensively. The pass rush has been bad (one sack through two games), the rebuilt secondary has had struggles and overall it's just not been good enough. Long-term injuries to C.J. Gardner-Johnson and James Houston will only make things tougher.
Against Seattle, in a flashback to recent years, Lions' linebackers were a liability in coverage as the Seahawks' tight ends (Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly) combined for 132 yards on nine catches.
The Lions simply can not let another bad defensive performance against the Seahawks stand as a mulligan and not a symptom of issues. It's hard to say a notable addition is or should be coming, but be it adjustments in scheming or adding depth, something must be done moving forward.
Former Vikings linebacker would not fit what ails the Lions' defense
Bleacher Report's NFL staff took accounting of each team's biggest roster weaknesses after Week 2. Linebacker was No. 2 on their list for the Lions, with an "add now" free agent option to that end.
"Add Now: LB Anthony Barr
"While Alex Anzalone is an established veteran, the Lions are otherwise young at linebacker. Second-year pro Malcolm Rodriguez and rookie Jack Campbell took a significant amount of snaps in the first two weeks."
"Both Rodriguez and Campbell struggled in the season opener as well, so Detroit would be wise to sign another vet for some help."
"Barr would not only bring nine years of experience to the Motor City, but he's also had 130 total tackles and six passes defended in his last 25 games. He would stabilize the second level of Detroit's defense and is the most complete player available at the position."
Barr is a familiar name for Lions' fans, since he spent the first eight years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings before spending last year with the Dallas Cowboys. He earned four Pro Bowl selections during his time in Minnesota, but it always seemed like was capable of more and it seemed like he didn't bring his absolute best all the time.
Barr appeared set to sign with the New Orleans Saints in early August, but he left without a deal. A subsequent visit to the New York Giants didn't yield a contract, and he remains available.
It's been intriguing to think of what Barr could do as an edge rusher, but he's never been used like that. He has never been all that great in coverage. But he was often credited by former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer for being the quarterback of the defense, offering value beyond numbers that always struck as disappointing.
The Lions linebackers (and edge rushers) had a rough game in pass coverage against Seattle (though having Houston cover a tight end downfield was a mistake by Glenn). But overall they haven't been awful thus far, and for once they have nice depth there. Barr is still a solid player, and it's odd he's still available. He's just a not a good fit in Detroit.