Sunday, July 31, 2011
Chris Houston gives Lions some options
By Kevin Seifert
For those who like to dig up old blog posts for a "gotcha" moment, I'll beat you to the punch. Here's what I wrote near the end of draft weekend in April:
I have no problem if the Detroit Lions, three years removed from the worst season in NFL history, continue drafting without regard for position. In the long run, it's the best approach for re-stocking a once-barren roster.
In the short term, however, I'll say this: There better be more on the way.
Sunday afternoon, it is now undeniable that the Lions have held up their end of the bargain, even if it was via an unexpected path. In the past week, they've signed two starting linebackers and two cornerbacks who will have good opportunities to start as well. When you add linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant to cornerbacks Eric Wright and Chris Houston, you've got a reputable and responsible follow-up to a universally praised draft class.
Houston is their most recent move, having agreed to a two-year contract after Houston spent a few days testing his value on the market. Houston started 15 games last season and there is every reason to believe he'll be with the first team when the Lions open the regular season. But with Houston, Wright, Alphonso Smith and Nate Vasher, the Lions finally have a group of at least semi-established cornerbacks from which to choose a starting lineup. If Aaron Berry stays healthy this summer, you can add a fifth name to that list.
The Lions hit a couple of speed bumps when camp opened -- injuries that forced Smith and left tackle Jeff Backus to the non-football injury list. But as they resume practice Monday, it's clear they have both addressed their needs and built on their strengths this offseason. Well done.