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Detroit Lions secondary remains a weakness

The Detroit Lions' defensive line doesn't need to be pumped up anymore. It has been great. Cliff Avril will eventually come to training camp, and the unit should be great again.

The team has done a nice job solidifying its linebacker position, especially after middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch re-signed. Only one unit stands in the way of the Lions' defense being great instead of simply dangerous: The secondary.

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Detroit has Super Bowl aspirations. And the New England Patriots showed us last year that you can overcome a rough secondary to make the big game. We suspect the Lions will have to do just that if they want to win in the playoffs this year.

Let's look at the secondary battles, as broken down by

Cornerback:Chris Houston and Aaron Berry are the starters. Eric Lacey is the nickel. There is competition for the nickel spot and for depth, but it's not particularly inspiring. This group could have really used a "No. 1" cornerback like Cortland Finnegan to knock everyone down a peg. Houston is a decent starter, but you don't want him as the best corner on your team.

SafetyLouis Delmas should be a quality starter -- if he can stay healthy. The other spot is a battle between Amari Spievey, well-traveled veteran Erik Coleman, journeyman Don Carey, and ... others. Spievey was one of the worst safety starters in the league last year. The team's website points out that the Lions could have to sign another player at the position.

I've taken some grief from Lions fans this offseason who think I'm hard on the team because I'm not anointing them Super Bowl champions yet. They think another playoff spot is guaranteed because the team is on the upswing.

It's a lot harder to go from good to great than it is to go 10-6 one time. Most young teams fall back to the pack before putting it all together. Detroit's secondary could get in this team's way.

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