Buchanon's titles: CB, Delmas Mentor

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good article on the revamped Lions secondary from Chrissie Wywrot at DetroitLions.com.

Wywrot points out that Coach Jim Schwartz has said the two units that need the most cameraderie and teamwork are offensive line and the secondary. Daniel Bullocks said the acquisition of players like CBs Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry have given the Lions a more veteran secondary. But the communication and chemistry between the older guys and the youngsters has been good.

Rookie safety Louis Delmas and veteran cornerback Phillip Buchanon are both new to the Detroit Lions this year. Buchanon was one of the team’s first free agent signings while Delmas was the club’s first defensive pick in the draft.

Buchanon has taken priority to guiding Delmas as he breaks into the NFL, schooling him on what it takes to become a professional in the league. The pair will work out together for the remainder of the offseason at the University of Miami.

“We’ll talk about some personal stuff, we’ll talk about some stuff that I think he should do, some mistakes that I made so he can actually not make those mistakes,” said Buchanon. “Then we’ll get into some football; talking and communication and stuff like that. We’re going to get our quality work in and we’re going to come back and be ready to play.”

Henry added that Delmas has been doing great, but people shouldn't forget it's a big jump from the Mid-American Conference to the pro game:
“He’s been doing a great job as far as communicating and stuff like that,” said Henry. “The certain thing that he’ll get used to as his career goes is the speed of the game. In certain situations in the red zone, the coaches are telling him to look outside and then get back to the tight end.

“Well, it’s happening so fast ... he’s doing what they’re telling him to do, but he’s not used to the reaction time. I think as it goes along, he’ll be a lot better at that.”

And one secondary who's got his colleagues raving is perhaps a surprise: Kalvin Pearson.
“Kalvin is a big-time guy,” said Buchanon. “He’s physical, he does whatever it takes and he’s somebody that you can depend on. He’s definitely a leader in my eyes; he understands the game pretty much on the same level that I do because we played together. Since we were coached by some of the same people we kind of see things the same way. I actually love playing with him. He’s a guy I can actually go to battle with.”

My take? On a historically bad team last year, the secondary was perhaps the worst unit of all. The Lions made a lot of changes that can't help but be positive. But as Schwartz has said, it's all about cohesion with the secondary. How quickly these guys can mesh together will be critical to how well the turnaround for the team goes.

Talk about it in The Den!