Sims: Foote, Peterson "are going to be leaders of this defense"

Monday, July 13, 2009

From Carlos Monarrez at, Ernie Sims said he's already developed a great chemistry, on and off the field, with new Lions LBs Larry Foote and Julian Peterson.

"Those guys, they aren't like me. They done been to Pro Bowls, they been to Super Bowls. They know what it takes to be successful and win games in this league. And you've got me on the other hand. I just know one thing: to play hard and make plays. So when you put those two together you've got great chemistry."

Sims is only 24 as he prepares to enter his fourth NFL season. On the heels of a difficult season, he could be defensive, threatened or perhaps even nonchalant about the new company he's keeping on the linebacker corps. But he isn't.

Sims knows he can learn a lot from Foote, 29, who has two Super Bowl rings, and from Peterson, 30, who has been to five Pro Bowls.

"They've got the experience," Sims said. "They know what it takes to be successful. They're going to be leaders of this defense."

My take? Sims is one of a handful of Lions for whom this is going to be a very, very important season. The new coaching staff will feel no special reason to give him the benefit of the doubt, and keep him out there if he's not performing.

I do not expect Schwartz to keep running Sims out there like Marinelli did last year, if Sims performs like he did last year. Sims this season can either reestablish himself as a young up-and-comer or disappear down the depth chart.

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