The Blitz is Back: Detroit Lions' New Playbook Puts Best Foote Forward

Phil HopersbergerCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Larry Foote #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers smokes a cigar in the locker room in celebration of their 27-23 win against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)



And Foote?

In the immortal words of Jim Carey..."SMOKIN'!"

That gives Gunther Cunningham a few new pages in the Motown Cats' playbook this fall.  Definitely not last years o-fer Lions with a paltry 30 sacks.

When Larry Foote WANTED to come home to the Lions (he played at Detroit Pershing and Michigan), you could feel the Mackinac Bridge shudder.  

Five time Pro Bowler Peterson must have felt better instantly about his trade, MSU alumni or not, that's one Wolverine he'll be glad to see at Ford Field. 

Water coolers all over the Mitten state gurgled a little longer that day.  "Really?  A Superbowl champion linebacker wants to play for the Lie-downs?"

Concussion Police...we have a 2-11 in progress.  I say again....

Wouldn't it have been fun to see Adrian Peterson's reaction when he read he'd be going against Julian Peterson, Larry Foote, and Ernie Sims?  I'll bet his jaw flipped his cornflakes!

And Brett hesitates now...ahem.

Say what you will about the 0-16 Lions and their unique Draft Day choices (granted their defense and offense were almost equal in guarding the cellar, so grabbing best available player made some sense), but the linebacking core will definitely do some damage in the NFC North.

And what do you do with a great linebacking trio if you're Coach Cunningham?  With nary a blitz in the arsenal last year, Gunner will have the Lions defense blitzing like the Steelers of Noll.  

Did I just say great?  When's the last time Lions' fans heard the word great and linebackers in the same sentence?  Strange days indeed.  

Can the Packers, Bears, and Vikes handle a 4-3 morph every other down?  Imagine Peterson coming off the edge, blind-siding Rodgers, Cutler, and Jackson (or Favre)?  The post sack huddle would be fun to sneak up on....

"That ain't the same Lions as last year.  Sims ain't a DB!"

"I thought they went to a 9-9 shade?"

"What's a Quarter anyway...3-3-5?"

"4-3 or 3-4?  Somebody's got to call it, Jay."

"Man, you don't look so good okay?"

"Brett?  I'm Batman!"

Ahhh...a Lions fan can dream can't he?  Or maybe it's the new reality for Detroiters.  

With these three guys on the field for three downs, most likely, there will be blitz packages in place that the NFC hasn't dealt with since Mike Lucci.  

Cunningham is an attacker and this trident linebacking core will turn some heads this year...and probably twist them clean off!

The blitz is back!