COMMENTARY| If Cliff Avril doesn't play for the Detroit Lions past this season, then there shouldn't be a problem replacing him at defensive end.
During a recent interview, defensive tackle Ndaumkong Suh said he's capable of switching positions. And so is Corey Williams, a player that former Lions tight end Rob Rubick raved about in May during a Lions charity basketball game in Flint.
"That's the great thing about our defensive line is that everyone is interchangeable," Suh said. "I can play left end, I can play right end, I can play left tackle, I can play right tackle. Corey Williams can do everything across the gamut. Lawrence Jackson is the same way. Kyle Vanden Bosch is the same way."
Suh didn't quite impress in 2011 after posting gargantuan numbers in 2010, his rookie season. He was named the NFL's most overrated player by a CBS columnist. But he'll bounce back.
"Of course. I definitely think he will," Avril said. "Last year, I think was tough on him mentally, but he learned a lot. I think it was a good thing because now he knows that it takes a lot of hard work and I think he's been putting in that hard work this offseason. I almost guarantee he'll have a better season than he had last year, and probably even better than his rookie year."
Suh was double- and tripled-teamed in 2011. Offensive linemen obviously learned a thing or two when it came to containing Suh, a former Nebraska Cornhuskers star and Heisman Trophy finalist. With Suh being "interchangeable," that gives Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham plenty of options when it comes to packages.
As Suh said, Vanden Bosch is another player capable of playing tackle or end. Williams has quietly impressed, and even Nick Fairley could be shuffled around. However, while there are options, having Avril around would only make things easier for the Lions, who have a decent defense, despite a somewhat questionable secondary.
Adam Biggers has followed the NFL for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Lions. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Corey Williams
- Cliff Avril
- Kyle Vanden Bosch