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Lions Review 2010 - Linebackers

Linebacker is arguably the weakest position on the Detroit Lions. They are depended upon to support both the Linemen in the run game and the defensive backs in the passing game. Without a good linebacker crew, either the defensive line or the defensive backs are left on an island with no room to make any mistakes. With that much pressure on them, they cannot gamble as often as they would like. As things stand right now, The Detroit Lions would enter the new season (if there is one) with DeAndre Levy in the middle and Bobby Carpenter and Ashlee Palmer on the outside.

DeAndre Levy:
Often the talk is about him moving to the outside. Some draft experts believe the Lions will take a certain linebacker in the 2nd or 3rd round and do just that. Don’t believe it. The Lions officials have already said that they would much rather go into the new season with Levy in the middle. He is a good and very intelligent player in the middle and the play of the Linebackers picked up immensely when he returned from injury last year. If the Lions draft a linebacker, it will be one that fits the outside.

Ashlee Palmer & Bobby Carpenter:
Neither one is considered to be a great up and coming linebacker. Neither is a detriment to the team in any way. Both are very good as back up players and could become decent starters, but the Lions need a very good starter. Not just a decent one.

Zack Follett:
A fan favorite and has the ability to become a pretty good outside linebacker. But he has a lot of learning to do and that might not happen with his neck injury. He says he is coming back, but there is a common belief that his career may be over. Only time will tell.

The Rest:
The rest on the roster at this time are likely career backups. The fact that they are only back-ups on a weak Lions linebacker crew tells you their value.

2011 Outlook:
The Detroit Lions must address the outside linebacker positions. They do not use a weak side and strong side linebacker in their defensive scheme. The Lions use two outside linebackers and do not switch sides according to the offense they face. Both outside linebackers need to be good at covering the pass as well as stopping the run. If they cannot add a good linebacker in the first three rounds of the draft, they will be desperate to find a good one in free-agency.

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