Lions look like perfect spot for Marcus Davenport to rebound

Marcus Davenport is coming off a couple down seasons, but the Lions might be the perfect spot for him to rebound.

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In search of edge rusher help, the Detroit Lions took a one-year flier on Marcus Davenport as the first day of free agency neared the end. The last couple seasons haven't been ideal for him, and he played just four games for the Minnesota Vikings last season due to an ankle injury. The season before that, he had just half a sack over 15 games for the New Orleans Saints.

That Saints tie is what has led him to the Lions. A first-round pick by New Orleans in 2018, Lions head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator were on Sean Payton's staff for his first three NFL seasons. During his introductory press conference on Thursday (h/t to Ben Raven of MLive), Davenport recalled a moment related to Campbell that has stuck with him.

"I’m gonna tell you a little story -- coach Payton got COVID and was out, and so Dan was interim head coach and he gave a speech,” Davenport said. “And I remember it was the first time in a long time that somebody gave a speech and my heart was like, ‘Yeah. Let’s go do it.’ I just remember his energy."

Via the Detroit News, Davenport also mentioned Glenn.

'I would say that I know [Aaron Glenn] is someone that doesn’t play around," Davenport said. "He’s serious about winning and I like the intensity he’s always brought. He’s kept it real and I don’t think he’s changed. So I’d like to come in and help him and Dan — two people I’ve watched and I’m like, ‘I wanna play for (them).’ I don’t think there’s many coaches in the league that people actually want to play for. That’s good to have at least two.”

Lions look like the spot to best foster rebound for Marcus Davenport

Davenport had the best season of his career (so far anyway) in 2021, with nine sacks over 11 games (nine starts) as Pro Football Focus graded him out as their sixth-best edge defender in the league. But he had five surgeries the following offseason, including two on his shoulder and three on his hand, the latter including removing part of his pinkie finger related to a lingering college injury.

The question with Davenport is health, but he said he feels "rebuilt" physically and otherwise after going "through some things." On a one-year, $6.5 million deal, with up to $4 million more available in incentives, the Lions look to have the ideal situation for him to get back on track.

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