Detroit Lions Strengthen Special Teams With Signing of Montell Owens

By Chris Katje
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have been active in the 2013 NFL off-season. One move made by the team didn’t receive a lot of coverage, but could have a huge impact on the team’s success going forward.

The Lions signed Montell Owens, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. A former Maine University star, Owens has played the last seven years in Jacksonville. Owens bring 104 games of experience on special teams to the Lions.

Owens has played primarily as a special teams player, a position which he excels at. Owens made the NFL Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011. Over his seven year career, Owens has already set the Jaguars record for most special teams tackles in a season (30) and in franchise history (118).

The signing of Owens shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who follows the team’s coaching changes. New special teams coach John Bonamego comes from the Jaguars and is very familiar with Owens.

Owens also can play running back, a position which he filled in at in 2012. In four games, Owens had 42 rushes for 209 yards and one touchdown. Owens rushing average of 5.0 is impressive and could put Owens in a depth role at running back as well.

The Lions’ 2012 special teams unit was pitiful. The team ranked last in punting, but also failed to get downfield and tackle return men as well. Owens brings experience and an aggressive “get the returner” attitude to the team, which will hopefully keep opponents out of the endzone.

Chris Katje is the featured Detroit Lions writer for Rant Sports. Follow Chris on Twitter or Google Plus.

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