Analyzing Lions defensive snaps

August, 17, 2014
Aug 17
1:30
PM ET
Training camp has concluded, first cuts are a week away and things are starting to shake out -- or get more interesting -- at certain position battles for the Detroit Lions.

Sometimes, snap counts can give a clue where a team is leaning or at least who is receiving an extended look. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of Detroit’s defensive snaps from Friday night.

DEFENSIVE END:

George Johnson 29 snaps (36 percent); Larry Webster 28 snaps (35 percent); Devin Taylor 25 snaps (31 percent); Jason Jones 21 snaps (26 percent); Darryl Tapp 19 snaps (24 percent); Kris Redding 6 snaps (8 percent).

Analysis: Johnson got the start and a nice, long look with the first unit. He performed well and was in the backfield a decent amount early on. Webster will continue to receive a lot of snaps as he’s improving at a massive rate and continues to learn throughout the preseason. Some of Jones’ snaps came inside at tackle. Redding’s numbers don’t bode well for him being around much longer.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

Caraun Reid 29 snaps (36 percent); Xavier Proctor 25 snaps (31 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 25 snaps (31 percent); Ndamukong Suh 24 snaps (30 percent); Andre Fluellen 22 snaps (28 percent); C.J. Mosley 20 snaps (25 percent); Greg Hickman 19 snaps (24 percent); Nick Fairley 15 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Like Webster, Reid is going to play a lot since he’ll expected to be part of the rotation this fall. That Fairley played fewer snaps than any defensive tackle is interesting because it might show his lack of conditioning, and there might be a message being sent. He was also splitting snaps with Mosley on the first unit and Reid on the second team.

LINEBACKER:

Kyle Van Noy 35 snaps (44 percent); Ashlee Palmer 28 snaps (35 percent); Julian Stanford 28 snaps (35 percent); Stephen Tulloch 28 snaps (35 percent); DeAndre Levy 28 snaps (35 percent); Tahir Whitehead 26 snaps (32 percent); Brandon Hepburn 26 snaps (32 percent); Travis Lewis 20 snaps (25 percent); Justin Jackson 10 snaps (12 percent).

Analysis: Van Noy and Palmer continue to compete for a starting spot so they’ll receive a lot of attention. Jackson got 10 snaps on Friday and was cut Saturday. That Stanford received more snaps than Lewis could be a sign he has passed him on the linebacker depth chart, especially since both players are reserves.

CORNERBACK:

Rashean Mathis 28 snaps (35 percent); Jonte Green 26 snaps (32 percent); Nevin Lawson 23 snaps (29 percent); Darius Slay 23 snaps (29 percent); Cassius Vaughn 15 snaps (19 percent); Drayton Florence 14 snaps (18 percent); Aaron Hester 12 snaps (15 percent); Chris Greenwood 12 snaps (15 percent); Bill Bentley 7 snaps (9 percent).

Analysis: Bentley’s lack of snaps came because of his role in the nickel so there shouldn’t be much more to be read into there. Green was getting a long look this week -- much like Greenwood the week before. Florence played a bit this week, but he was a veteran with the extreme backups. At this point, it might be Green, Greenwood and Florence for one roster spot.

SAFETY:

James Ihedigbo 28 snaps (35 percent); Glover Quin 26 snaps (32 percent); Nate Ness 26 snaps (32 percent); Don Carey 21 snaps (26 percent); Isa Abdul-Quddus 21 snaps (26 percent); Jerome Couplin 21 snaps (26 percent); DeJon Gomes 15 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Tough to read into the safety situation at this point behind Ihedigbo and Quin. Carey, Abdul-Quddus, Gomes and Couplin appear to be competing for two spots -- and three of them played equal snaps. Gomes may have as well, but he was hurt during the game, so that hurt his snap counts. Other than receiver, who the Lions keep here might be the toughest thing to call.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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