Lions add Turk
In the NFL, “the Turk” is the guy that all fringe players fear at cutdown time, the guy who delivers the bad news that they haven’t made a team.
Having benefitted all offseason long from their perch atop the waiver claim list by grabbing up player after player cut by other teams, the Lions claimed another Wednesday, picking up defensive end/linebacker Turk McBride, who was cut by Kansas City on Tuesday. McBride practiced with the Lions Thursday.
“I always heard about (the Turk). I watched ‘Hard Knocks’ when I was in high school,” said McBride, whose given name is Claude Maurice, and who was featured on the HBO Show himself in 2007. “The Turk tapped me on my shoulder in Kansas City, so I know the feeling.”
A former starter at defensive end, McBride was a second-round pick of the Chiefs in 2007, when Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham held that same position in KC, but did not fit the new 3-4 scheme installed by first-year head coach Todd Haley.
Considering that he dropped down to 255 pounds to gain the mobility needed for outside linebacker in the 3-4, the Lions will need to put 10-15 pounds back on the third-year pro, and hope he can contribute to the pass rush, possibly as early as Sunday.
“He did everything they wanted him to do, he lost a lot of weight to do it, but you know obviously it didn’t fit their scheme, and we were fortunate to be able to get him,” said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. “We’re excited about him. I think his skill set fits what we do on defense.”
Cliff Avril did not practice Thursday, missing his second straight day of work. If Avril, who started opposite Dewayne White against the Saints, can't go Sunday against the Vikings, the Lions' options for starters are a trio of waiver acquisitions — McBride, Jason Hunter and Copeland Bryan — or a converted defensive tackle — Andre Fluellen.
The Lions cut defensive tackle Orien Harris on Wednesday to clear room for McBride on the roster.