Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Assuming they follow through on their reported plans to hire Bob Slowik as defensive backs coach, the Detroit Lions will be well on their way to establishing a credible defensive staff in the wake of their disastrous performances in 2007 and 2008.
The Lions ranked last in total defense during each of former coordinator Joe Barry's two seasons. You don't reverse that trend overnight, but the Lions are moving in the right direction. The combination of coach Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and Slowik would give the Lions three respected defensive minds who have all experienced success in the NFL.
Slowik, whose NFC North tenure also has included stints in Chicago (1993-98) and Green Bay (2001-04), hasn't fared well as a coordinator during his NFL career. But Slowik is well-respected both as a defensive backs coach and a teacher. His arrival would give the Lions a good chance to improve their pass coverage.
This is not to say I'm convinced the Lions will have a much-improved defense in 2009. Players are the most important element, and it's a lot quicker to overturn a coaching staff than it is to weed through a roster of 53 players. But at this early point in the offseason, it's fair to say the Lions have taken some credible steps.