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News » Detroit Lions Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Detroit Lions Inside Slant 2009-03-20


Detroit Lions Inside Slant 2009-03-20
The Lions filled a huge hole when they acquired linebacker Julian Peterson from Seattle for defensive tackle Cory Redding and a fifth-round pick.


Wait. Make that two holes.

"From our standpoint," general manager Martin Mayhew said, "it's really a two-for-one type of deal."

Peterson not only addresses the Lions need at linebacker, but he also helps the pass rush. He had only five sacks last season - after posting 91/2 in 2007 and 10 in '08 - but Mayhew said last year's statistics did not match the game film.

"When you look at him play last year, you did not see a dropoff in terms of his movement or his ability in space or that kind of thing," Mayhew said. "I didn't see it. We looked at him in 2007. We looked at him in 2008. We didn't see it. We were excited about this guy, and this guy still has the ability to make plays."

Peterson will turn 31 on July 28, about the opening of training camp. But he hasn't missed a game the past three seasons, and coach Jim Schwartz has had his eye on him for a long time. Peterson is the type of big, long-armed, multidimensional linebacker who fits his system.

When Peterson entered the draft in 2000, Schwartz was Tennessee's linebackers coach. He rated Peterson ahead of Keith Bulluck, whom the Titans drafted 30th overall after Peterson went to San Francisco at No. 16.

"Keith never lived it down in Tennessee that I rated Julian a little bit ahead of him in the draft," said Schwartz, who spent the last eight years as the Titans' defensive coordinator. "Those guys are friends. So every time Keith would make a play, he'd bring the ball over to me ... and say, 'Hey, let's see Peterson do that.' Well, now we've got a chance."

Peterson said he was happy to be in Detroit, despite joining a team that went 0-16 last season. He went to Michigan State and knows football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo. His agent is based in the Detroit area.

"I like the positive things that are going on," Peterson said. "Coach Schwartz is a man of his word, and he's out to right the wrong, so to speak, and change the whole page. I'm very excited about that. We don't bring up the past. We just look towards the future."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

John Standeford Name: John Standeford
#16
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 2 years
College: Purdue
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