Everyone’s attention is on the coaching job for the Detroit Lions, and for good reason, but hopefully somebody in the front office is still thinking about filling some of the holes regarding the players. With the offense seemingly as well set as you can be at this point, save for maybe a true third receiver, the Lions should try to spend money or a high draft pick on a dominant defensive player in the secondary. Truly what the Lions need is someone who can cover passes, roam and shadow the opponent’s star player, make game-changing tackles and cause turnovers, and make the other team adjust their offensive game plans.
Many Super Bowl teams in recent years have had players like this — the Pittsburgh Steelers had Troy Polamalu, the Baltimore Ravens had Ray Lewis, the New England Patriots had Tedy Bruschi, the Green Bay Packers had Clay Matthews, and even the Chicago Bears had Brian Urlacher. Other players like this today include the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly, the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict. The closest thing the Lions had to this kind of player this season was DeAndrew Levy, with his six interceptions. However, Levy is not comparable to the aforementioned players. Could a current player step into this role, perhaps with a new coach leading the way? Sure, but considering the importance of the next few seasons for the Lions franchise, I wouldn’t take that risk.
If the Lions can pick up just one, and I mean just one, dominant defensive player that can change games at the linebacker position or as a defensive back, it could be make all the difference in 2014. Get a head coach, then get this guy.