What Dre Bly Means for the Detroit Lions Secondary

Zac Jones@zrojonesCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2010

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 10:  Dre Bly #32 of the Detroit Lions engages the crowd during the game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 10, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Seahawks defeated the Lions 9-6.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Around noon today, the Detroit Lions announced that they are bringing back two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Dre Bly. 

Bly, 33, signed a two year deal to help boost a young, unknown Lions secondary.

With all the inconsistent, forgettable years the Lions have had over the last decade, try to think back to 2003 and 2004. With all the bad surrounding the team, Detroit had one thing going for them—Dre Bly.

Making back to back Pro Bowls and being a defensive leader, Detroit thought they had themselves a gem. The addition of Bly was a move even our favorite, Matt Millen, could appreciate. 

But they say all good things always come to an end, and for Detroit, that meant all good things. Millen traded Bly to Denver for a draft pick, Tatum Bell, and George Foster.

What a great deal that turned out to be, eh?

Since then, the Lions secondary has been in a 360 out of control spin, with a new pair of starters almost every game and never getting a real core.

But now he's back, the man who totaled 19 interceptions during his time in Honolulu blue.

So, what does it mean for Detroit?

Well, it means Detroit is going to have at least one corner who is going to give you what you'd expect.

He's going to be a guy who can challenge for a starting spot and play the nickel and dime packages. He's going to be a guy who makes more smart, veteran plays rather than athletic plays.

With that said, don't expect too much. He has aged and he isn't near the player he was six years ago. Nonetheless, he's still a good player, and this was another smart move by Lions GM Martin Mayhew.

Was this Mayhew's secret DB? Remember a week ago when reports came out of Allen Park that said Detroit was still looking to sign a secondary player and a linebacker?

Maybe he was.

Mayhew has always found a way to surprise us all.

Here is what Bly said after returning to Detroit:

“I feel like I played my best ball here in Detroit,” said Bly. “I feel like it’s home and to come back and have the chance to finish my career where I played my best ball, where I feel like I’m part of the community. It's a great feeling.”

“I feel that when the Lions have struggled over the years, I’ve struggled as well because, like I said, I feel like I’m a family member,” he said. “I’m glad to be back. Hopefully we can get things turned around and I just want to be a part of the puzzle.”

Last season, Bly made 26 solo tackles for the 49ers, along with a sack and three interceptions. Bly has 43 career interceptions over 11 seasons in the NFL.

So what do the fans think?

As a hardcore Lions fan myself, I love the move. The leadership he brings along with him is something the Lions desperately needed. Not to mention, he won't kill the "cap" space either.


UPDATE: To make room for Bly, the Lions ha ve released cornerback Paul Pratt.


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