(ALLEN PARK) - One of the major training camp battles appears to be decided. The Lions have switched left defensive end James Hall back to his old right end spot and will start second-year player Cory Redding as the starting left end when the team hits the field in Cleveland this Saturday.
The move means a demotion for Kalimba Edwards, who previously had been the starting right end. Edwards will now move into a specialist role as a situational pass rusher and will play limited downs.
Edwards was pushed around by the Pittsburgh Steelers on rushing plays and struggled to get to the passer on rushing downs. Lions defensive coordinator Dick Jauron made a controversial switch this offseason, moving James Hall from his right end position to the left end to allow Edwards to to play the side normally opposite the tight end.
Hall was not pleased about the switch and made his feelings apparant alluding to perhaps not re-signing with Detroit had he known a switch would be made. Hall led the Lions with 6.5 sacks last season opposite veteran Robert Porcher who also recorded 6.5 sacks from the left side.
Redding was impressive, even when you factor in that he was playing against backups. His size, 6-foot-4, 285-pounds, makes him better suited to as a every down player, while Edwards, a converted linebacker is better suited to be a situational pass rusher.
Analysis: While Edwards may take the move as a step back, this can be a win/win for all parties concerned. As a situational rusher, Edwards can still display his value by doing what he has done best, getting to the passer. Redding can make his mark as a run stuffer. Jauron shows he has the guts to admit a mistake, correct it and get the best players onto the field.
Kalimba Edwards Demoted
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Scout NFL Network08/24/2016