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Lions' big plans for DT Alim McNeill could include some time at FB

Lions coach Dan Campbell has big expectations for defensive tackle Alim McNeill this season.

“Mac has so much ability and the way that he is built and the nimbleness and athleticism and power that he has for the way he is, for the way he’s built. You don’t see that every day,’’ Campbell said, via Paula Pasche of lionslowdown.com. "We still feel like there’s more in there. He really took a big step last year. We feel like there’s more in there.’’

McNeill, entering his fourth season, made 32 tackles, five sacks and 10 quarterback hits last season. He will play a big role for the team next to veteran D.J.Reader, who signed with the Lions in the offseason.

“In my head, it looks like destruction," McNeill said. "There’s no other way I can see it. Every time I close my eyes and visualize, I just see destruction. I’ve been watching D.J. since I was younger.’’

Campbell has mentioned McNeill as an option at fullback, though McNeill said the Lions haven't talked to him about it yet.

“It’s nothing firm. I have no clue," McNeill said. "I hope it is [a reality].’’

McNeill didn't play the defensive line until college. He was a linebacker and running back in high school, rushing only 20 times but for 63 yards and eight touchdowns.

He misses being the bulldozer with the ball.

“I still got that; I’ll never lose that,’’ McNeill said.