Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Detroit changing scheme?
By Tim Kavanagh
The Detroit Lions employ a man as head coach who is a big proponent of the Wide 9 defensive line alignment, whereby the DEs line up outside the space where the TE is positioned, giving speed rushers a good angle to attack the backfield. Nevertheless, there has been speculation this offseason that Jim Schwartz would shift to a 3-4 scheme, given that the team didn't generate much of a pass-rush, and that there are players on the roster that could potentially be effective in this other alignment.
Don't plan on seeing that from the Lions, as long as Schwartz is running the show.
"We're not going to 3-4," Schwartz stated from Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, per the Detroit Free Press. "What we want to do is try to put our players in the best position that fits their skill level. We didn't have enough sacks this year to be able to blame that on the Wide 9."
As far as offseason acquisition strategies -- and bear in mind that DE Cliff Avril may not be back in 2013 -- Schwartz confirmed that the club will be keeping their eyes open for speed rushers at the DE spot. One possibility with their first-round pick is Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones, who may be a little undersized as an NFL DE, but whose skills at hunting QBs are at a very high level:
Mel Kiper, Jr.Mock Draft 1.0
"He may not be a perfect fit in a 4-3 on the edge, but Jones is an exceptional pass-rusher, can line up on either side of Detroit's young and talented interior linemen and will flat-out make plays. He led the nation in sacks even as every team brought help to block him, and Jones not only uses great leverage to hold up as a run defender, but is vastly underrated in his ability to drop and cover. He brings a workmanlike effort and will sack quarterbacks, and skip the dance as he helps them up. A mature player and a good fit on any team, and within any system."