The Detroit Lions had the NFL’s second-ranked defense a year ago and the top unit in the league against the run. And even though the Lions have lost a pair of key defensive tackles in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, head coach Jim Caldwell has high hopes on that side of the ball in 2015.
In an exclusive interview with nfluk.com and BritViewNFL, Caldwell told me: “I think you’re going to find that we surprise a lot of people on defense. We have a lot of men up front who can play and we have always rotated a lot of players in and out. So even guys serving in back-up roles have a lot of experience.
“Then you add to that mix Haloti Ngata who is a big, strong man who is a Pro Bowler who has been in a lot of big games. He won a Super Bowl there in Baltimore and he will help us out a lot. Jason Jones, Ziggy Ansah and the rest of the crew will help as well.”
Despite the obvious loss of Suh on defense, the Lions still have talented performers across the board. The secondary is talented and dangerous with the likes of Darius Slay, James Ihedibo and Glover Quin on the field, and Caldwell was keen to point out the strength of his linebacking crew.
Caldwell concluded: “Behind them we have guys who can run and make plays. We have DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead and then of course we get Tully (Stephen Tulloch) back and he is one of those guys who plays with a lot of fire and emotion. He is smart, highly experienced and loves to play the game.”
You can watch the Jim Caldwell interview on nfluk.com during the 2015 season and read his comments in the official gameday programme that sells at Wembley Stadium later this autumn.