The Lions are not expected to make wholesale scheme changes on defense, where their biggest problems lie. But there could be a way to enhance the productivity of the unit using parts that already are on the roster. One of the relative strengths of the defense is at linebacker, and though two veterans — Larry Foote and Julian Peterson — are not guaranteed to return, it should remain a fairly solid group whether or not the personnel remains static. One personnel grouping the Lions tinkered with this past season was a four-man LB grouping that they used in short-yardage situations, which they called their "extra linebacker" formation. GM Martin Mayhew hinted that the team could try to expand the usage of this package as an offseason project of sorts, and it could allow young LBs DeAndre Levy and Zack Follett more chances to get on the field, especially if Foote and Peterson are retained.
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