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Nick Fairley: Detroit Lions have best DT tandem in NFL

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was on a list of potential breakthrough players for 2013 by our friend Adam Schein, but you can make the case Fairley already broke through.

Fairley was one of the most difficult defensive tackles to handle in the NFL during his second year, and it didn't hurt that he played next to a resurgent Ndamukong Suh last season. Fairley believes they already are the best defensive-tackle duo in the NFL.

"Of course," Fairley told the Lions' team site on Thursday. "We're going to give guys trouble, man. It's like pick your poison this year with our defensive line. You cannot come in and double-team Ndamukong and you can't come in and double-team me.

"You won't be able to double-team (defensive ends) Ziggy (Ansah) or Jason Jones or Willie (Young). You have to pick who you're going to bring your (running) back to chip. We're going to feed off each other, and when we get that chemistry down, it's going to look real good for us."

The defensive end group has been rebuilt, but the Lions are betting on the guys inside making them look better on the outside. We have doubts about the Lions' depth at linebacker and cornerback, but Fairley's assessment isn't so crazy. The Lions' entire defense is built around the defensive-tackle duo, and we can't think of a better tandem in the league. This deserves another post.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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