Caputo & Fithian

Pat Caputo: Free Agent Additions Parts Detroit Lions Needed

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HOUSTON - OCTOBER 21: Stephen Tulloch #55 of the Tennessee Titans looks on during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium October 21, 2007 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – OCTOBER 21: Stephen Tulloch #55 of the Tennessee Titans looks on during the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium October 21, 2007 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Stephen Tulloch is not Ray Lewis. Justin Durant has little in common with Clay Matthews. Eric Wright reminds no one of Charles Woodson.

But for the Lions, they should work.

With the mad rush of free agency in the immediate aftermath of the NFL lockout, and all the handwringing in the initial days of the signing period, the Lions have done relatively well.

It’s probable the Lions got three starters for their defense in 2011 — Tulloch (who agreed to terms Sunday) and Durant at linebacker, and Wright at cornerback.

These are solid players, in their prime, who have started regularly in the NFL for a number of years.

There are some issues. Wright had brutal season in 2010 and became the subject of scorn from Cleveland Browns’ fans. Durant has been a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars the last four seasons — when he was healthy. He has missed roughly 25 percent of the games with nagging injuries. Tulloch made a lot of tackles for the Tennessee Titans — 111 solo takedowns last season. He doesn’t make many big plays, though, just 4.5 sacks and two interceptions in 80 NFL games.

Re-signing restricted free agent cornerback Chris Houston was big. It means the gaping holes on their back seven are at least reasonably filled.

We’ll see if the front four, the obvious key to the Lions’ defense, will work magic.

That was the theory on draft day wasn’t it? When the Lions bypassed cornerbacks and linebackers in the early rounds to augment the weapons for Matthew Stafford on offense.

Theoaklandpress.com for more

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