In effort to add depth to the defensive line (the team has practiced at length without veteran Jared DeVries), the Lions acquired DE Lawrence Jackson from Seattle in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick in the 2011 draft.
A former first-round pick (2008) of Seattle, Jackson never quite produced. Oddly, he was traded away by his former college coach and current Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll, who tutored Jackson at USC.
Jackson's struggles in Seattle were amplified in a defensive philosophy change under Carroll, however. The new Lion feels his talents are better suited to Detroit's 4-3 scheme.
"They let their defensive lineman go and play football," said Jackson. "I think that makes it a lot easier."
Jackson isn't a bonafied pass rush specialist, but is a solid presence at defensive end and plays the run particularly well.
He is expected to play in Saturday's exhibition tilt at Denver.
"We need to get him up to speed quickly," said coach Jim Schwartz. "It's going to be a transition for him. He read a lot more at Seattle; we need to get him attacking more. He's a big guy; he's got good long arms and plays with his hands really well; he's still really young and I think that a change of scenery and scheme can benefit him. It's going to be what he puts into it and how he responds.
"He didn't really get his career started the way that he wanted to. He's got a great chance to make up some ground now."
Schwartz felt that the change of scenery would do Jackson good.
"You get a situation where you've got a guy that's not an exact fit, he's a good player, but he might now be an exact fit in the scheme that somebody wants to use," he said. "We saw that with Tony Scheffler. You guys see the way he practices and what he can do, but that wasn't what they needed from a tight end in Denver. That stuff happens. Corey Williams, very similar, kind of situation.
"So much of a guys career and success comes from what he puts into it and the skill level that he has, but it's also marrying a scheme where that's what a scheme is looking for."
Jackson is the second player acquired via trade from Seattle by Detroit. The Lions also traded for veteran guard Rob Sims, who has already become entrenched as a starter at left guard.
Another ex-Seahawk, Nate Burleson, joined the Lions in the off-season after jettisoning Seattle.