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Thursday, January 20, 2022

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    Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes views defensive line as an area of depth

    Allen Park — It’s easy to point to the Detroit Lions offensive line as the roster’s strength, but when asked about his team’s positions of need for the upcoming offseason, general manager Brad Holmes casually slipped in he carries a similar view about the defensive trench. 

    “I would agree, yes, offensive line,” Holmes said. “You could say defensive line, you could argue that those are strengths of our team, but we do want to improve in all the other areas.

    Nick Williams (97) led the Lions' interior linemen with 15 quarterback pressures this season.

    A former collegiate defensive tackle, Holmes has an intimate understanding about the position, but the evaluation doesn’t seem congruent with the results. 

    While it can be difficult to decipher the intricacies of defensive interior performance, we have the obvious barometers of quarterback pressures, tackles for loss and yards per carry up the middle.  

    In terms of interior pass rush, Detroit carried over its struggles from the previous regime, despite overhauling the position group. Nick Williams, an impending free agent, led the team’s interior linemen with 15 quarterback pressures, followed by rookie Alim McNeill with 10. They were the only two who ranked inside the top 100 in the category at the position.

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