Lions' gunner makes most of chance at safety
ALLEN PARK -- Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham thought safety John Wendling played well last Sunday in the win at Tampa.
It was more impressive considering it was the first time Wendling had ever taken snaps on defense in an NFL game. Usually he’s a gunner on special teams.
Cunningham said two of his plays stood out.
"One was a motion play that he made the check on and rolled back to the deep middle, I couldn’t believe it. He moved before anybody on our defense; he knew exactly what to do. The other one was a power play where the fullback came after him and I think the fullback is still talking to himself because John’s about 220, 225,’’ Cunningham said. “I don’t know if you know this, but he is really fast. That’s why he’s a gunner on this team. I’ve heard rumors about how fast – I’m not going to give you a number. For me, I don’t believe it."
Wendling said he ran a 4.48 at the NFL combine but on his junior pro day he clocked 4.38. He was a sixth-round pick by Buffalo in the 2007 draft out of Wyoming.
On Sunday Wendling got the nod to play after Louis Delmas suffered a concussion in the first quarter against the Bucs.
Amari Spievey, the other starter was ruled out after pre-game warmups, so C.C. Brown got the start for him.
“I’m glad it worked out the way it was, I had C.C. out there to help me out a little bit, it was a good group of guys to play with,’’ Wendling said. His biggest play this season was the most unusual of the season. It was in Dallas when Wendling jumped up to knock a punt down so it wouldn’t go into the end zone. Instead it went directly into the hands of Dallas’ Bryan McCann who ran it back 97 yards for a touchdown.
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