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Thursday, August 1, 2013
BBAO: Sack totals among Lions DEs

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Here's a jarring nugget from Dave Birkett's story in the Detroit Free Press on the Detroit Lions' defensive line: None of their top four defensive ends have had a double-digit sack season, either in the NFL or college.

That group includes current first-teamers Jason Jones and Willie Young, along with top backups Ziggy Ansah and Israel Idonije. Double-digit sack totals aren't necessarily the litmus test for good pass-rushers, but in this case it reflects the Lions' decision to part ways with two proven pass-rushers -- Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril -- to pave way for an unproven group.

Here's the way Lions coach Jim Schwartz put it: "Some of our guys haven't had a career yet. Everybody's excited about the combinations that we can work out there. You're not just judged on what you've done in the past. Some of those guys are getting plugged into a different scheme. We have confidence in those guys being able to execute the blitzes we have and also the four-man rushes that we have."

Continuing around the NFC North: