Detroit Lions Season Preview 2014: Defense

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Aug 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA;Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) is announced before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports


Darius Slay, Rashean Mathis, Bill Bentley, Cassius Vaughn, Nevin Lawson

The Lions defensive backfield has a very different look entering 2014. Gone from Detroit’s CB1 position is Chris Houston. In his place is second year defensive back out of Mississippi State, Darius Slay.

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Slay will take over No. 1 duties with long time NFL veteran Rasheen Mathis flanking him at the No. 2. Together comes a great mix of youth and experience, but the duo will be put to the test in the star-studded, NFC North. The Lions only hope at a playoff run is if Slay and Mathis can hold off the likes of Jordy Nelson/Randle Cobb, Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffery, and Greg Jennings/Corderrelle Pattereson twice a year.

Also returning from last season in the nickel position is Bill Bentley.

Cassius Vaughn joins the team via free agency and Nevin Lawson joins via this years NFL Draft.

Early thoughts were that the Lions may keep six cornerbacks headed into the season, however the team did not see enough out of Chris Greenwood to keep him on the 53 man squad.

The Lions defensive backfield will have to hang tough for the Lions to have a shot at a division title or wildcard playoff berth in 2014.