The squad likely won’t set any records, but the Lions have quietly built a solid secondary. As Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press writes, the team’s defensive backfield consists of a former All-Pro (Rashean Mathis), a former Super Bowl champion (James Ihedigbo), a talented former second-rounder (Darius Slay) and perhaps the most talented player of the bunch (Glover Quin). With that depth, the Lions should improve a passing defense that allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFC last season.
However, the team looked to have a solid secondary entering last season but struggled initially. Mathis, the oldest of the group, understands that the group has to be ready from day one.
“More of everything,” he said. “More consistency regardless of what coverage we’re in, what technique we’re in, we’re just going to be consistent and that means a lot, that means a lot.
“If we’re press, the ball is ours just as much as it’s theirs. If we’re (off-man coverage), same thing goes. Regardless of what technique we’re showing we’re just going to be more consistent. We didn’t start off well, but we finished well. So to start better is a good thing. To finish how we did last year, we want to finish even better. And we have the tools to do so.”
Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC North…
- Free agent safety Jim Leonhard told WQOW-TV (via Marc Sessler of NFL.com) that he’s talked to the Packers about joining the team. “They’re a great organization,” Leonhard said. “I’d love to play for them but it hasn’t worked out up to now. You never know what can happen in the future, but we’ll see.”
- In his recent Packers mailbag, ESPN.com writer Rob Demovsky said that it’s “a good bet that (Jordy) Nelson‘s deal will get done well before (Ted) Thompson‘s.” Packer president Mark Murphy previously said that extending Thompson is a “top priority.” However, Nelson and his expiring contract are likely higher on the front office’s check list.
- Andre Johnson and the Vikings don’t “seem like a good fit,” opines ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling. The writer points out the that team already has a 30-year-old receiver in Greg Jennings, and a Johnson acquisition may reduce Cordarrelle Patterson‘s role.