Detroit Lions Cuts: Two Starting Quality Defensive Tackles Go, What Now?

Dave MContributor IISeptember 6, 2009

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 14:  Shaun Smith #91 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after a play during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 14, 2008 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Steelers defeated the Browns 10-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

When the Detroit Lions acquired the massive 6'2" 325 pound Shaun Smith from the Cleveland Browns earlier this preseason many people expected him to start. His name, however, was on the Lions lists of cuts Saturday (probably due to the fact that he chewed out the Browns GM while with the team), along with Rod Marinelli's go-to guy, Chuck Darby.

While nobody expected Darby to start, he was expected to see a lot of playing time behind another off-season acquisition, Grady Jackson.

Now the Lions are left with a pride (I use that term loosely) of young DT's, many of which have very little NFL experience. In fact, in the 6 combined years that those DT's have played (excluding Jackson) they have a combined total of 25 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass deflected.

While there has been a lot of talk about Landon Cohen's improvement this off-season (particularly the fact that he put up 225 pounds 50 times), very little has been said about 2008 pick Andre Fluellen and acquisition Orien Harris. Sammie Lee Hill has gotten some praise for having outstanding talent, but the rookie from Stillman College is likely to have trouble making an impact this season.

So what do Lions coaches, front office personnel, and fans do now? Pray to whatever god you choose that some team drops a talented DT, or that highly anticipated, highly talented LB corp is in for a rough season.


Other notable cuts from Saturday include: TE Dan Gronkowski, LB/Special teams extraordinaire Zack Follett, RB Aveon Cason, S Stuart Schweigert, WR Dane Looker, and CB/MR. Irrelevant Ramzee Robinson.