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Friday, April 29, 2011
Daily mailbag: Lions DT rotation

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

I understand where Mario of Buffalo is going with this question:
Since Detroit still has holes at LB and CB, can you see them possibly trading Corey Williams to plug one of those holes? Obviously they still would have depth at DT even without Corey Williams.

As much sense as it would make, Mario, I don't see it happening. As we noted in January, Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh played a higher percentage of his team's snaps last season than any defensive tackle in the NFL. Suh is young and in great shape, but I don't know if that's a sustainable pace.

I'm sure the Lions are going to want Suh and Nick Fairley on the field as much as possible, but it's much more palatable to give them regularly scheduled breathers when you can do it with a player like Corey Williams.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz suggested as much while speaking to Detroit-area reporters.

"We play 130 defensive tackle snaps in a game," Schwartz said. "So, if we're rotating three guys through and they're playing 45 snaps apiece ... No. 1, there'll be a little bit of pressure. We can keep rolling waves and waves.

"We probably -- even Ndamukong Suh -- probably played a little too much for us last year. Not that he wore down, but it was too many snaps in there. You're taking on 700 pounds of man every time you take on a double team and things like that."

Secondly, Williams has already been traded twice in his career. I'm not sure if a proposed third trade would bring the Lions equal value. Would they get a starting linebacker or cornerback for a nose tackle who isn't projected to be an every-down player in 2011? Doubtful.