<
>

Analyzing Lions' defensive snap counts

8/10/2014

It is still relatively early in the preseason, and like many teams, the Detroit Lions are going to spread out their snaps among a whole bunch of players in order to get an idea of what they have and what they might still need.

But sometimes, snap counts can give an idea of who needs some work or who is getting a longer look from the coaching staff. Here's a position-by- position breakdown of Detroit's snaps Saturday night.

 DEFENSIVE END:

Larry Webster 26 snaps (38 percent); Kris Redding 24 snaps (35 percent); George Johnson 19 snaps (28 percent); Devin Taylor 15 snaps (22 percent); Darryl Tapp 14 snaps (24 percent); Jason Jones 11 snaps (16 percent).

Analysis: It was almost a guarantee that Webster would see the most snaps of any Detroit defensive end. He’s going to be on the roster this season, and with how raw he is, the Lions need him to get as much game experience as possible. Expect this number to grow over the next three weeks. Johnson and Tapp’s snaps came with both the first and second units. If and when Ezekiel Ansah comes back, one of those two players is going to lose snaps to him.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

Andre Fluellen 27 snaps (40 percent); Xavier Proctor 27 snaps (40 percent); Greg Hickman 24 snaps (35 percent); Caraun Reid 23 snaps (34 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 23 snaps (34 percent); C.J. Mosley 17 snaps (25 percent); Nick Fairley 12 snaps (18 percent); Ndamukong Suh 8 snaps (12 percent).

Analysis: The snap count here is inversely proportional to a player’s chances of making the final roster. Suh, Fairley and Mosley are the top three tackles, and Reid will be on the roster as a fourth tackle -- and first-team special-teamer. Saddler-McQueen played well in his snaps, and while he probably isn’t making the roster, if he can string together a couple more strong performances he might at least make Detroit think about it. In some of these snaps, Fluellen lined up outside and Jones lined up inside as well.

LINEBACKER:

Julian Stanford 30 snaps (44 percent); Travis Lewis 26 snaps (38 percent); Brandon Hepburn 25 snaps (37 percent); Kyle Van Noy 20 snaps (29 percent); Tahir Whitehead 17 snaps (25 percent); Justin Jackson 17 snaps (25 percent); Ashlee Palmer 15 snaps (22 percent); Stephen Tulloch 13 snaps (19 percent); DeAndre Levy 13 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Levy, Tulloch and Palmer are the starters for now. Van Noy probably could have received some more snaps, but linebacker is a pretty heavy position right now as far as competition and depth behind him. Stanford probably saw more snaps than expected because of Whitehead’s injury. Other than Jackson, all involved are still in some contention for a roster spot.

CORNERBACK:

Chris Greenwood 31 snaps (46 percent); Nevin Lawson 29 snaps (43 percent); Cassius Vaughn 25 snaps (37 percent); Darius Slay 24 snaps (35 percent); Bill Bentley 19 snaps (28 percent); Jonte Green 18 snaps (26 percent); Rashean Mathis 13 snaps (19 percent); Mohammed Seisay 7 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: The most intriguing thing here were the snaps for Jonte Green, and I don’t remember him being injured last night. If I were him, I’d be at least mildly concerned the team didn’t take as long a look at him as they did Greenwood, Lawson or Vaughn. Greenwood got a long look last night, and as of now, he’s not in the best roster position. Lawson was going to see a good amount of snaps as both a rookie and the backup to Bentley in the slot. Watch Seisay’s snaps, though. It’ll be interesting if they jump in the next couple of weeks. That Aaron Hester didn’t get a single defensive snap does not bode well for him.

SAFETY:

Isa Abdul-Quddus 45 snaps (66 percent); DeJon Gomes 30 snaps (44 percent); Jerome Couplin 25 snaps (37 percent); Glover Quin 13 snaps (19 percent); James Ihedigbo 13 snaps (19 percent); Don Carey 10 snaps (15 percent).

Analysis: Abdul-Quddus played more snaps than any defensive player and put together a good night. He was in on a lot of second-half tackles and also had an interception of Tyler Thigpen. He’s likely fighting with Gomes for the last roster spot and as of now, Gomes has the special teams edge. Pay attention to Couplin’s snaps over the next two weeks, too. His athleticism is really impressive so the Lions may want to really give him a long look at some point.