5 Reasons The Detroit Lions D-Line Will Live Up To Expectations In 2013

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Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) celebrates during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

After using 3 1st round draft picks on defensive lineman in the last 4 years, it is clear that defensive-minded Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions organization are looking to build around a dominant pass rush.  The scheme used by Gunther Cunningham relies on heavy pressure up front and gap reaction from the linebackers.  As the defensive line goes, so goes the entire defensive.

The Lions underachieved as a team in 2012, but the defensive line especially underperformed according to expectations.  In 2010, the first year with Ndomakong Suh, the defense produced 44 sacks.  In 2011, after adding Nick Fairley, the sacks dropped slightly to 41.  2012 brought back an experienced, cohesive line.  Fans and media had begun tossing around ideas for an intimidating nickname, and Jim Schwartz suggested a historical nod by calling the line the “Silver Crush.”  In the offseason, Gunther Cunningham hinted at new specialized schemes that would shuffle around the versitile tackles and the defensive ends.  He called it “Grey.”  After all the hype, the sack total for 2012 dropped all the way to 34.

Okay, sacks aren’t everything…and the line still caused a lot of hurries and hits in 2012…but overall the Lions defensive line is expected to show a lot more dominance, to the naked eye and on paper, in 2013.  There are several reasons that fans can renew hope that this year won’t disappoint…

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Tags: Detroit Lions Jim Schwartz Ndomakong Suh Nick Fairley

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