Initially this was supposed to be an entire post about Suh, and his impact on the defense, but I felt that ultimately that would have torn from the point of the post, and made it less about analytics, and more about his reputation or price in the comments section. In an effort to resolve this, I decided that instead, the post should cover the defense as a whole, and even bring about not only the rest of the additions, but also, help clarify some of the lesser known players on the teams roles, and how it may clear up some of the listed needs as opposed to the draft and specified cornholed positions we may be looking at.
You see, in doing the research, I found that some players on our team possibly deserve expanded roles, and may even get them based on the limited showings. Either way, this is where we get on this train, and we start with the biggest addition to Miami since Cameron Wake.
Suh's impact on the Defense
Last season, Detroit's defense was ranked fourth in the NFL. No player had a bigger impact on this than Suh. While they may have found a soluable replacememt for him in the trade for Haloti Ngata(what is up with me being able to remember how to spell this guys name, but not Suh's first name) However it it far less simple than that. See, before the team drafted Suh, the Defense for the Detroit Lions was known to be a pushover in NFL circles. That all changed in the spring of 2010. When with the second pick in the NFL draft, Detroit invited Mr Nasty into the defensive equation.
Here is the thing, despite the talent on the field, the sack producers, and the addition of Optimus Grimes a few years back, the same could be said about our front 7 against the run. You see, our interior was not getting any inside push, or clogging any lanes. This led to a trend that disappeared drastically from the time a few years back, when we decided that pass rush was more important than run defense, due to the whole stop Brady campaign. This is also why teams that are statistically worse(like the Jets and Bills) in offensive production has tended to do better than us then even New England.
See, their strength is the run. Well, when you have a defense built to stop the pass, and mainly the pass, teams who run the ball a lot, tend to do better than the passing teams. It is also why our statistics look so skewwed against better teams than the teams we see on paper that we should beat.
Enter Suh. Who kay be known for his blue collar demeanor, and his pass rush, but was also fairly productive in clogging inside lanes. He also has a solid ability in getting to the outside and chasing down the play. In fact, Detroits defense without him is expected to have the biggest statistical dropoff unless they attempt to replace him in the draft even with the addition of Ngata. However it is his role that will help carry out and bring out the strengths of others on this team. Speaking of which...
Why Linebacker is not such a pressing need
Most people will look at this, and think Dion Jordan. However, he is not the biggest proponent to why this works. See our Defense needs to be built to supprt the front four pass rush and run defense. It is how Detroit was so successful in the first place. Why our defense has what we need? It is the addition of Paysinger which actually helps the cause. See, his strength is pass coverage. This means he has the ability to thrive as an outside linebacker in our base defense. How so? Put him on the tight end. Meanwhile, Koa Misi's and Jelani Jenkins skill sets compliment him well. Misi of course helping contain the run on the inside, while Jenkins helps eat up Wakes double team or creates an extra pass rusher for the second Tight End or slot receiver to block. While our latest addition to the secondary helps in another regard....
A look at our revamped secondary, and why we may not need a Cornerback
This year, we added Bryce McCain to a secondary that lost Cortland Finnegan to retirement. Also, we all know Brent Grimes, amd there has been a lot of talk about Jamar Taylor, and Will Davis. Here is the thing, while McCain is a solid roster addition, he is primarily there as a nickel corner for his ability to help contain the outside run. His specialty. This leaves a void at our boundary corner. Or does it? See, you may think that we can fill this role with either Taylor or Davis, but it is a lesser known or talked about player that may fill this void better.
A reintroduction to Walt Aikens. A 6'1" corner who was drafted to be a future Safety, his role may be better suited as a player opposite Grimes. See, his role at Safety helped groom him by placing him so far off the snap that he could diagnose the play better. It does not change in Coyle's scheme even if he moves to the outside based on Coyle's desire to play off coverage. He still gets the same height to diagnose the play, and his knack for keeping the play in front of him is still allowed by this factor. However, it helps that in limited snaps, he had 1 int and 1 pd, as well as 14 tackles. This is as a backup Safety. With his size, and specialty being pass coverage, this may in fact be our answer to the player best suited opposite Grimes.
Well there you have it. All the information on the roles of our Defense and how the players currently on our roster best fit. As usual, questions and comments below would be appreciated and answered. :)