Dante Wesley Visiting As Detroit Lions Search for Safety ImprovementMarch 26, 2010
Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer reports that Dante Wesley, a 30-year-old safety, is visiting Allen Park, hoping to catch on with his former special teams coach. Wesley, along with new addition Landon Johnson, were considered special teams aces for Crossman in Carolina.
In a recent article, we studied many of the moves the Detroit Lions have made to improve the dismal special teams unit. Arguably, the biggest move was firing Stan Kwan and hiring special teams coach Danny Crossman from the Carolina Panthers.
From a personnel standpoint, the Lions have added numerous players who are coverage specialists—like Zack Follett, Caleb Campbell, Vinny Ciurciu, and now Landon Johnson, who will add intensity, if nothing else, to a squad sorely lacking it.
Johnson, doesn't have the speed to be an outside gunner but is a safe tackler who has the size and ability to fight through blockers on his way down the field.
Wesley, on the other hand, is a gunner through and through—notching seven special teams tackles in 2009. What Wesley might bring to the team on his defensive position in terms of safety depth pales in comparison to what he could mean for the budding special teams unit.
As it stands right now, looking at the pre-draft roster, the Lions could field a unit with Wesley and Campbell as gunners with a second wave of Follett and Johnson and a clean up led by Ciurciu and Ashlee Palmer.
Obviously that unit can change a dozen times thanks to draft picks and camp cuts. As it stands, it is a marked improvement from 2009.
Not that it could've gotten much worse.
Article originally posted on author's website Blue And Silver Pride
Michael Schottey operates Blue And Silver Pride and is a Detroit Lions featured columnist for Bleacher Report . He also serves as a team correspondent for DraftTek.com and is a guest blogger for Mlive's Highlight Reel . Check out his Podcasts and add him on Twitter !