COMMENTARY | The secondary was a constant concern for the Detroit Lions last season, but there have been numerous moves to shore up that issue over the course of this offseason. The latest such move is the addition of safety Chris Hope.
Hope is someone with a proven track record in the NFL, even if his best days are most certainly be behind him. He spent last year with the Atlanta Falcons, starting four games and appearing in all 16 during the regular season. In that time he recorded 16 tackles. Those totals may be a far cry from the 101 tackles he recorded in 2010, but Hope is still someone with the ability to create turnovers and he will always be in the right position to make a play.
It is also reassuring to know that Hope spent six years with the Tennessee Titans, and part of that time was spent under the tutelage of current Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. At 32 years old he cannot be considered anything more than a stopgap solution to any problems, but the recent issues surrounding Louis Delmas add validity to the signing.
Many will recall that Delmas missed eight games last season due to knee problems and has missed much of Detroit's offseason program because of lingering issues. He is someone that could have easily left in free agency, but the Lions decided to spend important salary cap dollars on bringing him back into the fold. Delmas has tremendous upside and potential, but these constant health concerns are forcing Detroit to make other arrangements.
Hope is a 12-year veteran that has been solid throughout his career, while rarely reaching great heights. His best season came in 2008 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a member of the Titans. In that season he was able to carve out 78 tackles, four interceptions and eight pass deflections.
Bringing in Hope also alleviates concerns that the Lions may be forced to turn to Don Carey in the event that Delmas is unable to play at any point. Carey is someone that has struggled in limited action over the course of his career and cannot be counted on as an every-down starter in the NFL, at least not yet. He has only three years of experience to his credit and is still a raw player on the field.
This leaves Detroit with a potential superstar in Delmas atop the depth chart, but the Lions are playing everything safe by bringing in a seasoned veteran that can be counted on if the team has to turn to him.
Hope is not an exciting or particularly inspiring addition to the roster, but he is a quality player. And right now Detroit can use all the quality players it can find.
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