Lions Mixing Up The Secondary

The Detroit Lions benched starting cornerback Anthony Henry, and signed another defensive back earlier this week as the team continues its search to find a competent secondary. Stats, quotes, and more inside ...

The Detroit Lions continue to play musical chairs in its defensive backfield, attempting to find a competent solution that has eluded the team since last year.

The Lions are 27th in the league in pass defense, allowing opposing quarterbacks to average a league-high 119.7 QB rating.

And although the secondary has already tripled its interception total from last year (3), they've also given up 15 passing touchdowns -- the most in the league.

After playing with the safety position the first few weeks of the regular season, the ball club focused on cornerback last week.

Veteran Anthony Henry caught the brunt of it.

Henry said he had never been benched in his life, so he was surprised when Phillip Buchanon came in to replace him at cornerback Sunday against Pittsburgh.

"I don't know who made the decision, but I know a player came in for me and they said, 'You out. You're done,'" Henry said Wednesday.

"I thought a certain package was coming in, so I was like, 'What?' And he's like, 'Nah. You out.' I'm like, 'All right.' So I knew what that was about."

Henry made no excuses, though.

"I was upset I wasn't playing the way I was capable of playing, so I can understand why they took me out," he said. He doesn't expect to start Sunday at Green Bay.

The Lions hope the signing of veteran cornerback Demarcus Faggins will have a broad impact. Faggins is a versatile defensive back that has played previously in Tennessee and Houston.

Faggins just signed Tuesday but might be ready to play Sunday because of his experience. He learned a lot of different things in seven years with Houston and spent the preseason with Tennessee, where Lions coach Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for eight years.

"Our techniques and their schemes are very similar, but the terminology's different," Schwartz said.

"Being a veteran player, the hardest thing is not learning what to do, it's just putting it into your own language. I would assume he'd be up to speed pretty quickly."

Faggins said the transition was "pretty simple" and he felt relatively comfortable during practice Wednesday. "Being that it was my first day out there, I think it went pretty smooth," Faggins said.

Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was enthused with the prospect of Faggins in the backfield.

"We're hoping that he can step up and help us out there, mainly with that attitude of being a professional," defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "I think Ko Simpson's one of those guys. He's studies the game. We brought him in. Marquand Manuel is working like a dog. Louis Delmas makes some plays, but he needs to learn how to do that. He needs to learn the mental part. He's a good student, but yet he's got to carry it onto the field. That's where the breakdowns are happening back there in my opinion."


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