Detroit Lions: 3 Reasons the Lions Secondary Isn't as Weak as You Think
If that wasn't a big enough turnaround, the team followed that up with a 10-6 record in 2011 to make the postseason for the first time in over a decade.
The Lions are on the rise, there is no doubt about that. The team's defensive backfield, however, remains the biggest issue on the team (besides off-field issues, that is) and seems to be the one thing holding them back from being a Super Bowl contender.
The Lions are already a playoff team, they just need to take another step. Many people aren't giving the secondary any credit, but they aren't as poor as everyone thinks.
Delmas Is a Beast
Louis Delmas is an absolute monster at safety. He is a human hit-stick and someone the team can count on to put a punishing blow on an opponent.
He is the most well-known name in the secondary. The only problem with him is that he isn't back to full strength yet.
The 25-year-old safety from Western Michigan missed five games last season because of injury and recently underwent surgery on his knee. He is hoping to be back for the start of the regular season, but he may not want to rush things.
If Delmas is healthy, he can put up close to 90 tackles per year. In the two seasons he has been healthy, he has put up 94 and 84 tackles respectively.
When Delmas comes back, he will do so with a vengeance. Expect big things out of the four-year veteran.
They're Young and Talented
The secondary is young with loads of potential talent. The problem is, they haven't realized their potential.
Although the second cornerback position is still up for grabs between Alphonso Smith, Jacob Lacey and Bill Bentley, they all look to be good candidates for the position given up by Aaron Berry.
No starter in the secondary is over the age of 27. Chris Houston is the oldest, but even he is only a six-year veteran.
Houston is a guy that can get you 50-plus tackles every year. Last season, he picked off five passes and returned two for touchdowns. There is no doubt that he is talented.
Louis Delmas isn't a big interception guy at safety. Instead, he is more of a hit-first type of player and can put up solid tackle numbers from the safety position.
Amari Spievey can do both. He can put up tackles—accumulating 70 last season—while also hawking the ball well. He had three interceptions last season and is one of the better young safeties in the league in his third year.
The Lions are loaded with talent, but the talent just needs to realize the potential that they have.
They Can Only Get Better
The Lions ranked 22nd in the league last season in pass defense.
This doesn't seem like a great number, but compared to those of the Lions' past, it is an improvement.
The Lions have seemed to get increasingly better over the past three seasons in every aspect of the game. The secondary has just been a bit slower than the others.
There is no doubt that the secondary is better than they were two seasons ago, but the strides need to be more significant.
With the talent that is in the secondary, and the potential that they possess, there is no place to go but up for this young squad. They will prove a lot of doubters wrong this season and Jim Schwartz will have the defense ready to make a statement.
With the scary defensive line that the Lions have, they may not even have to worry about the ball getting to the receivers if the quarterback is running for his life on every passing play.