Sunday, May 17, 2015

The History of the Detroit Lions Slot Corner under Martin Mayhew


The major weakness every year for the Lions is the play of their slot corners. Teams continue to abuse the team with option routes and drags. The inability of the Lions to find a guy who can play inside is the Achilles heal of this team.

Here is a look since 2009 at the players who have failed to man the slot corner:

2009

Kevin Hobbs

14 games 2 starts 37 tackles 1 PBU 1 ff
Hobbs was picked up of the waiver wire following the final cuts from Seattle. He struggled for a really bad team that went 2-14. His outside corners were Philip Buchanan and Anthony Henry. Hobbs never played in the NFL again after this season.

2010

Brandon McDonald, Nathan Vasher, Eric King

Brandon McDonald
6 games 2 start 16 t 1 pbu

Nathan Vasher
14 games 5 starts 19t 1 int 5 pbu

Eric King
3 games 9 tackles
Injuries destroyed the secondary. McDonald was a good tackler but could cover anyone, Vasher was washed up and King came off the street to help in the 4 game winning streak. Vasher and King never played in the NFL again.

2011

Eric Wright

16 starts
74t 16 PBU 4 int
By far the best slot corner in the Mayhew era. The lions secondary was horrible in 2011 but was at its best with Chris Houston and Aaron Berry outside with Wright inside. He had a good feel for jumping routes and was a good enough tackled to handle the spot. Wright was awful outside and along with awful safety play got burned repeatedly.

2012

Jacob Lacey

11 games 9 starts
30t 4PBU 1 int
One of the worst players in recent Lions history. Struggled during the Lions 8 games losing streak. Made only one play picking Andrew Luck in a loss to the Colts. He gave up the game losing score. He never played in the NFL again.

2013

Dwight Bentley

13 games 5 starts
29 tackles 5 PBU
Bentley came back from missing most of the 2012 season with multiple injuries. He rebounded to play poorly in the slot. He refuses to get his around to the ball and is often hit with DPI. In 2014 he was injured in the 1st quarter of the 1st game.

2014

Cassius Vaughn

13 games 5 starts
18 tackles 5 PBU 2 int
Vaughn was easily the worst player on the Lions last season. After injuries to Bentley and rookie Nevin Lawson, Vaughn was pressed in to action. He was so bad the Lions attempted a 3 safety package and even put Don Carey in to replace him. Vaughn will best remembered for falling down and allowing Terrence Williams to score a TD for the cowboys to get back in to the game just before halftime. He currently is a free agent.


Finally, Mayhew has tried to address the situation. He brought in two veterans who played in the slot in 2014. Chris Owens (Chiefs) and Josh Wilson (Falcons) both are 30 and on their last legs. They drafted Quandre Diggs who fits the position but was a 6th round pick for reason. Bentley and Lawson remain on the roster after injuries wiped out 2014.

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