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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions — Five reasons defense will be fine without Ndamukong Suh

While there may still be a few Detroit Lions fans lamenting the loss of Ndamukong Suh, the team has moved on.

Here are five reasons the Detroit Lions defense will be fine without Suh:

  1. Teryl Austin, the defensive coordinator, seems to get the best out of each player on defense. He knows their strengths and uses that knowledge in building the defense. Suh had his best season in 2014 and it was not a coincidence that it was under Austin. Last year Austin was forced to be flexible due to injuries — losing Stephen Tulloch, Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson early in the season. Not only did the defense survive, it thrived and finished as the second-best defense in the NFL.

  2. Haloti Ngata was signed to replace Suh, sort of. Ngata is a different player and never would boast about replacing Suh snap for snap. But he’s a solid, veteran defensive tackle that was only available because the Ravens could not afford his salary cap hit.

  3. Ngata, of course, won’t do it alone. A few young defensive tackles like Tyrunn Walker, Caraun Reid and Gabe Wright (who wears Suh’s No. 90) look like they could be ready to take the next step.

  4. Word is that Ngata, who did miss some time at OTAs, has displayed leadership. This is key and it was not a strong suit for Suh.

  5. Ziggy Ansah at defensive end has continued to show improvement. He could really step up his game this season and make fans forget about the loss of Suh.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)


Blogger Mike Sokoll said...

Aside from number 4, I think these are mostly valid points however I honestly believe these are all questions where we are waiting on the answers.

Just because Suh was extremely prone to taking a dumb penalty especially with the game in the clutch I don't believe for a second that he didn't display leadership. Their is not a single instance that I can recall of a team-mate not speaking of his work ethic and motor in glowing terms. That is pretty much the definition of the phrase "leading by example."

For me the two biggest points are 1 and 2. If Teryl Austin can keep this defense progressing even after he loses a player of Suh's caliber he will end up a head coach somewhere after the season...the guy will have proven that he can get the job done as a DC. Ngata may not be as dominant as Suh but the fact that Mayhew puled the trigger on him immediately was incredibly reassuring and a lot of folks in the league respect his abilities in the middle.

I am looking forward to the season just so we can start getting answers to some of these huge questions.

9:22 AM 

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