Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Lions OL shuffle
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Most teams come out of their bye week with some personnel and lineup tweaks. As we noted Tuesday, Detroit has apparently halted its rotation at left guard and inserted a third player as a new starter: veteran Jon Jansen. Here's John Niyo's report in the Detroit News.
The move puts two old Michigan teammates -- Jansen and left tackle Jeff Backus -- next to each other on the Lions’ line. Jansen has been almost exclusively a tackle in his career. At 33, most NFL teams thought his career was over before the Lions signed him this offseason.
As we discussed last week, there is some merit to creating a meritocracy that requires accountability and prevents underperforming players from staying on the field indefinitely. But I also think that at some point it would benefit the Lions to settle on a lineup for the sake of continuity and allowing chemistry to build.
Jansen is the shortest of short-term answers at left guard. Hopefully his insertion into the starting lineup signals the Lions recognize they need to improve their line in the long term as well.
Continuing around the NFC North: