Julian Peterson's benching a wakeup call for Lions defense

Through two games, the Lions have a lot of reasons for optimism.

They have battled both weeks and barely lost. More importantly, their first-round picks from Ndamukong Suh to Brandon Pettigrew to Jahvid Best all look like great building blocks for the future.  (Now they just need Matthew Stafford to untie his shoes.)

The problem is one we’ve talked about since training camp.  Detroit’s linebackers and secondary have been as dreadful as expected.  Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham sent a message late last week when he benched linebacker Julian Peterson, one of the highest paid players on the team.

“Shoot, yeah,” cornerback Jonathan Wade said when asked by the Detroit Free Press if that move opened some eyes. “If he’ll bench a five-time Pro Bowler, then he’ll definitely bench anybody else.”

Kyle Vanden Bosch and Suh have made a difference up front, but the Lions still look like one of the five worst defenses in football.  It’s a reminder that Detroit has to nail a lot more first-round picks until they’ve truly dug out from under the Matt Millen era.

26 responses to “Julian Peterson's benching a wakeup call for Lions defense

  1. It’s amazing how badly Millen decimated this franchise over his 8 year tenure. Just look at the player turnover since he’s gone.
    Also, if you want a laugh, check out how many of his draft picks are still playing in the league. Almost none of them are even on the team any more. The guy was an absolute joke as a general manager.

  2. but the Lions still look like one of the five worst defenses in football.
    Vikings are having their coming out party Sunday…will click and score 28 vs. the kittens

  3. Yet for some reason Matt Millen is paid to give his “expert” analysis on weekends for both college and the NFL.

  4. Nail on the head about Millen era. That guy put the team back about 10 years. I cannot watch him on TV and take anything he says seriously. UGH.

  5. They’ve got the best chance at winning in years, good to see them distancing themselves from that bafoon Millen.

  6. The defense hasn’t looked like the worst in the NFL. They have looked like they are about 20th in the League. We get consistent pressure against the QB and have held the running down. You are going to say letting McCoy run for 140 yards and scoring twice is holding down the run!? And my argument would be, his name is Vick. He changes things. Forte was held in check, in terms of running, and the Cowboys let up more rushing yards by him than the Lions did. Plus the Lions beat the Bears*. If the Secondary can come together and develop some chemistry and if Cunningham was smart and benched C.C. Brown for Spievey, then the Lions will win some games.
    Prediction: Lions 31-Vikings 21
    *(Refs can’t do their job and interpret rules corectly so the Lions techincally lost)

  7. I’d like to see the Lions win some games this year.. they got some talent at some key positions and their coach seems like a decent dude (not a Mike Shananon type)

  8. They were so talent poor after the Millen years that they can only pick and choose what to upgrade one position at a time. This past offseason, even though their defense was god awful last year, they chose to get a threat at RB and to upgrade the DL. And they’ve succeeded at both, especially on DL with Suh, Van Den Bosch, and Corey Williams. The secondary with the exception of Delmas is in bad shape but they simply can’t upgrade every position in the two offseasons since Millen’s been gone, so they choose the DL with the hopes that the added pressure would result in the secondary having to cover for less time. So they’ll need another FA period and draft to shore up the LBer and the other spots in the secondary. Millen absolutely killed this team.

  9. delmas always a decent fantasy pick, but doesnt he have a groin injury he is working through……..
    Thu, Sep 23
    Delmas (groin) was back at practice on Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reports.

  10. Detroit needs to pull off a herschel walker trade or 2 then nail a complete double size (all 7 original picks and 7 more they get in trade) draft TWICE.
    until then… expect more of the same.

  11. And about them trading Ernie Sims, he was one of the problems last year on defense. He was never where he was supposed to be and as a result he missed too many assignments. In the game last week he failed to pick up Best several times coming out of the back field and they were big gains (and in one case a 70+ yard TD).

  12. # Chapnasty. says: September 24, 2010 9:01 AM
    Yet for some reason Matt Millen is paid to give his “expert” analysis on weekends for both college and the NFL.
    Just doesn’t add up does it.

  13. The funny thing is that Millen got the job as GM because of of his ability to scout and evaluate talent as a broadcaster for college and the pros….
    Maybe “funny” isn’t the best word to use…..
    The Lions are on the right path…unlike the Bills, Jaguars and Browns

  14. I have to giggle when I remember all those Lions fans thinking they got the steal of the century when Seattle traded Peterson to them. We seem to have done okay in that trade, and Peterson looks bound for another quiet season where he performs WAY under anyone’s expectations.

  15. @ECS – Brougham Boys 74
    You did okay in that trade? Name one player on your team that was a result of that trade?

  16. Yeah, sorry Brougham, but JuP is much better than anything the Seahawks got.
    In fact, the Lions fleeced the Seahawks twice by getting LoJack for almost nothing, considering he was just drafted in the first round a year or two ago.
    Not buying what you’re saying.

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