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News » Levy ready to work in the middle

Levy ready to work in the middle

Levy ready to work in the middle
ALLEN PARK -- When Kevin Smith was drafted in the third round last season, the perception was that the Detroit Lions had filled their running back position. When DeAndre Levy was drafted in the third round this season, the perception is that the Lions still have a hole at middle linebacker.

Fans who were upset that the team passed on USC's Rey Maualuga in the second round are now hoping the Lions work out a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers for Larry Foote. Levy, in the meantime, is just going about his business.

An outside linebacker for Wisconsin, Levy was told on draft day that he would be moving to the middle for the Lions .

"Physically, he fits there," said Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. "Again, I want to caution that until we get mouthpieces and shoulder pads and those kinds of things and you're taking on fullbacks live, you have a hard time completing that evaluation. But drill work and athletically, hitting the sleds and those kinds of things, he looks like he's right at home there."

Levy ready to put on pads

Levy can't wait to get the pads on to prove what he can do. In fact, he was hoping the players would be in full gear for their three-day rookie minicamp, which ends today.

"I asked them the first day I got here whether we were putting on shoulder pads, but you've got to be patient. It's going to be fun to get out there and hit with the pros a little bit," said Levy, who is looking forward to isolation plays when he will be matched up one-on-one with a fullback.

"That's the fun part, all the action comes to you so you're going to at least get a collision," he said. "I'll try to make the most of it and take care of my body and hopefully it'll work out.

"Everything comes into the middle and you've got a lot of opportunities to make plays but you've got to be in the right spot at the right time. In this league, one split second can mean six points so if you're in the right spot, plays will happen."

There were some questions about Levy's size (236 pounds) when he was drafted, but Schwartz said it's not an issue.

"When he strikes you, he knocks people back," Schwartz said. "You don't really worry about the weight there as much as the impact that he does when he hits. You want guys who can build explosion through speed and he has that 4.4, 4.5 type speed and he's able to create some collisions."

Levy adds weight

Levy puts it clearly: "If my weight is an issue, I'll make it a non-issue."

Levy said he's already up to 238 pounds and would like to add a few more pounds.

"I feel comfortable at this weight but we'll see when we get the pads on. I'd like to be a solid 240 just to round it out. I'm trying to put on the right type of weight," he said, adding that he might need it in the NFL. Levy said he was watching film of the Lions' recent veteran minicamp and he saw Jon Bradley, a fullback he'll be battling in training camp. Bradley, a converted defensive tackle, weighs 300 pounds.

"Yeah, I thought the fullback looked kind of big," he said.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 4, 2009

Rudolph Hardie Name: Rudolph Hardie
Position: DT
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