- from FOXSports.com
One area where the Lions should be much improved defensively is in nickel situations where Boss Bailey, who was injured all of last season, will line up at linebacker with Alex Lewis. Bailey will replace Teddy Lehman, who did a decent job, but doesn't have Bailey's speed, instinct for playing zone coverage and playmaking ability. Lewis also has excellent speed and has a good knack of when, and how far, to drop. Both players need to improve in one-on-one coverage, but they only have one year of experience each, so that should improve with more playing time. Lewis has shown some pass-rush ability, but he's undersized and can get knocked off track too easily. Look for the Lions to spend more time with Bailey in pass-rushing drills. . . .
The Lions are still looking for candidates to back up Pro Bowl return specialist Eddie Drummond. Free-agent receiver Kevin Johnson is currently slated as the No. 2 punt returner, but neither the team nor Johnson wants to see that going into the regular season. The backup kick returner right now would likely be Shawn Bryson, who is solid but doesn't have enough burst to be a significant threat.