The Lions resigned MLB Stephen Tulloch to a five-year deal today, which means that 10 of 11 starters from last year’s defense are returning. The only starter not returning is cornerback Eric Wright who signed with the Buccaneers for five years and $37.5 million with $15 million guaranteed.
But wait, isn’t this the same defense that gave up over 24 points and almost 370 yards a game? The same defense that, in two consecutive must-win games to end the season, gave up 1,176 yards to the Packers and Saints?
The Packers game made Matt Flynn a starting quarterback in Seattle and the Saints game ended the Lions season and broke the playoff record for yards allowed with 626!
I like that the defensive line is still intact and that Nick Fairley will be healthy heading into the next year and will only play better. But the secondary issues on this team need to be addressed in the first round of the draft.
Two corners that may be available at pick 23 would be Janoris Jenkins from North Alabama, after being dismissed from Florida, and Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama. It is up to Mayhew and Lewand to determine which of these guys would be a better fit for this defense.
To replace Wright the Lions signed Jacob Lacey from the Indianapolis Colts. Dave Birkett of the Free Press compared Wright and Lacey via Twitter:
The fact that Lacey can play more than just Cover 2 will give the Lions more flexibility on defense. Plus it would be nice to have a corner that can come up and make a tackle if someone gets on the outside.