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Schematically, the Lions’ D was about as simple as it gets in 2016.

February 08, 2017

Schematically, the Lions’ D was about as simple as it gets in 2016—their coverages were mostly undisguised zones, their fronts often static. It’s fine to play this way, as long as you have destructive linemen. But the Lions have only one of those, D-end Ziggy Ansah, and his destructiveness led to just two sacks last season. Ansah’s fellow ends, Devin Taylor and Armonty Bryant, are free agents; each is replaceable. On passing downs, Kerry Hyder is better suited for defensive tackle. Detroit doesn’t have to look for an expensive edge player, however. They run a lot of stunts, with ends looping inside. Finding someone to pair with ’16 second-round pick A’Shawn Robinson—and maybe supplant the declining Haloti Ngata—would be helpful.

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