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Here is how we do it.

1. Somehow get Larry Foote

2. Bring Shaun Rogers back

3. Sign either Vonnie Holliday or Kevin Carter

4. Release Chuck Darby

LE-Dewayne White- bit undersized for the 3-4 but is solid against the run and will chip in a few sacks here and there. Jared Devries and IAF as the backups

NT-Shaun Rogers- even when he doesn't try this guy is still better than anyone of our D-tackles. Jackson will back him up and get plenty of snaps. Hill can learn from both these veterans and be allowed more time to develop.

RE-Vonnie Holliday/Kevin Carter- either one of these guys would be perfect for a year or two. Both have been reliable against the run their entire careers and have the ability to rush the passer. Fluellen is perfect fit for the 3-4 and he also is given a chance to develop and maybe take over this position in a year.

LOLB-Julian Peterson-this guy is awesome and can do a little bit of everything. Deandre Levy can back him up and get playing time on occasion.

LILB-Ernie Sims- i know this guy is an outside backer but this spot would be ideal for him. He plays next to Peterson and Foote and right infront of Rogers. He would be able to make plenty of tackles and lots of plays. Jordan Dizon as the backup.

RILB-Larry Foote- played the 3-4 for Steelers and always very reliable especially against the run. Cody Spencer has experience in the 3-4 and also a very good ST player.

ROLB-Cliff Avril- too small to be an every down lineman in the 4-3 but perfect as an outside backer for this defense. Can get to the QB and 10 sacks a year is a safe bet. Alex Lewis and Zack Follett would be solid backups and ST players.

CB-Phillip Buchannon- better than what we had last year but still not a shutdown corner.

CB-Anthony Henry- solid veteran and should start over Fisher. Hopefully we can get one or two decent years from him.

SS-Daniel Bullocks- Solid tackler, good in run support and decent in coverage. Had 94 tackles last year. Otis Wiley as the backup over Schweigert and Pearson.

FS-Louis Delmas-you don't draft this guy with the first pick in the 2nd roud to sit. He's a playmaker and FS is perfect position for him. Gerald Alexander would have been the starter if healthy without the drafting of Delmas.

Nickel-Travis Fisher-i hate this guy but Lions seem to love him and play him alot. Better here than as a starter

Dime-Keith Smith-has good coverage skills. Might be a better option to start over Henry.

Eric King- extra corner and ST player. Will see plenty of time as a dime or nickel back because of injuries or poor play from other defensive backs.

You know I'm just throwing this out there. I have a day off and been thinking this over lately.

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"A bit undersized" doesn't work with the 3-4. Size is what is needed. They could use Sammie Lee Hill at end, with Grady Jackson at nose, and IAF on the famous left side, with Peterson and Avril as the OLB's. White wouldn't have a spot, I guess.

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Not to mention some of our DT's seem better equiped for ends in a 3/4. Francis and Fluellen come to mind. With Dizon and Levy, we certainly have the LB depth now.

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"A bit undersized" doesn't work with the 3-4. Size is what is needed. They could use Sammie Lee Hill at end, with Grady Jackson at nose, and IAF on the famous left side, with Peterson and Avril as the OLB's. White wouldn't have a spot, I guess.

I agree with you 100 percent, but I do like White. I just notcied I called Francis AKF for some unknown reason. IAF has this year to impress or he might be on his way out.

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Love the site! First time poster here but long time lurker. Very good Idea IMO to move to the 3-4 defense. Avril could be our version of Merriman, albeit a poor man's version of him.

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For what its worth, I remember reading some quotes from Swartz indicating that the Lions would run some 3-4 type schemes at times (sorry no links). From what I understand the plan is for a base 4-3 D with a more flexible overall philosophy... giving them the ability to adapt the team they are playing against.

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Yeah it does look like we are staying with the 4-3 and using that as our base defense. Kevin Carter and Vonnie Holliday have been linked to the Lions. My hope is they are looking at them more as defensive tackles instead of ends. That way they won't take any snaps from our younger ends(Avril,Fluellen,IAF,). DT remains a weak spot on the Lions defense and needs to be addressed. Jackson is too old to be more than a two down lineman. Hill is too inexperienced to be counted on this season. Chuck Darby is horrible and old. I don't know much about Cohen but he is undersized at 274 lbs.

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Cohen and Fluellen will be bulked up this year, and need to play. I'd rather not sign Larry Foote, and develop Levy instead.

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Cohen and Fluellen will be bulked up this year, and need to play. I'd rather not sign Larry Foote, and develop Levy instead.

Really? Even if the Lions can sign him for a bit of a discount?

He is only 28 (going on 29)... His overall production has been declining a bit but he still has some productive years ahead IMO. Levy may prove to be good, but he is still an OLB moving to the inside while also trying to adjust to the speed of the pros. I'd much rather have Foote starting for a year or 2 with Levy backing him up. If Levy is good enough to beat him out he'll get the starting gig (or at least more reps).

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No. The Lions need to look at the big picture this year, and develop as many young players as possible. Signing vets for a win or two makes no sense.

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I'd rather not sign Larry Foote, and develop Levy instead.

i'd rather do both. Levy should see game action, but he has no business starting at MLB-especially since he has no collegiate background as a MLB.

i don't think a Foote signing would produce any more wins for this team than they are already capable of. what it would do is establish the type and quality of LB play that this organization should expect to have moving forward-something i don't think Levy will be capable of this season in anything more than a situational role.

fwiw, i am optimistic about Levy long term as a MLB. but i'm also realistic about this team, it's personnel, and it's expectations. i'm also aware that this organization has for too long allowed players to perform incompetently on the field, and that needs to change. throwing a rookie with no experience at a new position into one of the most demanding positions on the field would be an extension of the era of incompetence.

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i'd rather do both. Levy should see game action, but he has no business starting at MLB-especially since he has no collegiate background as a MLB.

i don't think a Foote signing would produce any more wins for this team than they are already capable of. what it would do is establish the type and quality of LB play that this organization should expect to have moving forward-something i don't think Levy will be capable of this season in anything more than a situational role.

fwiw, i am optimistic about Levy long term as a MLB. but i'm also realistic about this team, it's personnel, and it's expectations. i'm also aware that this organization has for too long allowed players to perform incompetently on the field, and that needs to change. throwing a rookie with no experience at a new position into one of the most demanding positions on the field would be an extension of the era of incompetence.

+1

Every freaking word of it.

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Plenty of rookies have changed positions like that, including Urlacher, who wasn't even a linebacker.

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I like this idea...

We have good personnel, probably 4 players who can play the end position in the 3-4.

We have Peterson and Avril who are both capable of playing OLB.

Sims and Levy/Dizon would be excellent ILBs.

Follett also has great potential in the 3-4 imo.

Like someone said, I think White would be the odd man out.

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Plenty of rookies have changed positions like that, including Urlacher, who wasn't even a linebacker.

like i said, i'm optimistic, but i' would not be willing to stake the future, both the near and long-term, of the MLB position on a rookie 3rd rounder who is changing positions. now if it was Urlacher, who was arguably the most talented player in his draft class (and the 9th overal pick), i might be more willing to go out on that limb...

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The Lions don't have speed, talent or strength to pull this off at all. Not even close. Are you guys serious?

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The Lions don't have speed, talent or strength to pull this off at all. Not even close. Are you guys serious?

What are you basing this statement off of? We already have 2 giant NTs, IAF, Fluellen, Cohen, and Darby can play DE. We have Avril and Peterson, who are ideal 3-4 OLBs and a boatload of young fast LBs who can play inside.

And besides that doesn't any scheme require speed talent and strength?

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Has Schwartz ever shown a desire or an inclination to go with a 3-4? What about Cunninghan?

I'm not opposed to going with a 3-4 if that makes sense with the personnel and if the coaching staff wants that, but I don't think we have the personnel or the coaching staff to go for a 3-4.

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Looks to me like the Lions will be going to the 3-4 in a season or two. It all depends on the D-Line. We need a massive NT and some stout ends. Avril could be a beast at OLB.

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de-fluellen

dt-hill

de-francis

olb-peterson

ilb-sims

ilb-foote

olb-avril

cb-buchannon

cb-smith

ss-bullocks

fs-delmas

What do we have to lose? This starting 11 can't do much worse than last years defense.

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It wouldn't be Hill this year. It'd be Jackson. Hill could be the starter in a year or two.

I don't mind the idea of switching to a 3-4. We're pretty close people wise at this point.

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The Lions won't be using a 3-4, but their 4-3 will have 3-4 principles; such as the ends lining up wide, with the job of "funneling in" the running game. Last year, the principle was to "funnel out", so there's a difference. This makes sense, since they'll be funneling into LB's and safeties, not corners per se.

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I know they won't be this year, but I could see the transition being made in a couple of years depending on the development of Hill.

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