Safety James Ihedigbo could prove to be one of the Lions’ top offseason acquisitions. Here are three reasons why:
1. He’s a veteran (six NFL seasons) and a leader. Ihedigbo — many of his teammates call him Dig — takes that responsibility seriously and can help the young defensive backs. When he was with the Baltimore Ravens he learned from the best — Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens two years ago so he knows what it takes to get to the top.
2. Ihedigbo, 30, played in all 16 games each of the last two seasons for the Ravens. In 2013 he started all 16 games under defensive backs coach Teryl Austin who is now the Lions defensive coordinator. While the Lions’ defense may be new to most guys, Ihedigbo should have a certain familiarity with it.
3. He’s penciled in as a starter opposite Glover Quin. They haven’t had much time to practice together on the field because Quin has been held out following ankle surgery. But the two work out in Houston in the offseason and should pick up playing together during training camp.