Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis (31) before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions counting on Rashean Mathis in '14

The Detroit Lions sported a woefully imbalanced defense in 2013. The team gave up the 6th fewest rushing yards against, but ranked in the bottom ten against the pass. If they’re going to improve on that figure in 2014, they’ll be counting on veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis, who is tentatively slotted as the team’s top cornerback in the weeks leading up to training camp. The 34-year old is ready to embrace the pressure.

Carlos Monarrez at the Detroit Free Press writes that Rashean Mathis will be the top cornerback on the Lions roster this fall. “Mathis signed in mid-August with the Lions and did not begin the season as a starter. This year, he will after the Lions released Chris Houston.”

After ten years spent in Jacksonville, Mathis was released by the rebuilding Jaguars. He was an All-Pro cornerback in 2008 and snagged 20 interceptions in his first four seasons in Jacksonville. Even more impressive about that stretch? Mathis missed zero starts. ” [T]hey say you only have a certain amount of cuts in your legs,” Mathis said, “and I guess I’ve been blessed that I have a certain amount of cuts or more than most.”

The Lions hope Mathis will have plenty of cuts in 2014, when Mathis is slated to start opposite second-year player Darius Slay, who appeared in 13 games last season and totaled 6 passes defended with zero picks.

The Lions secondary may not look much better than the 2013 squad, but they will be led by a player who is used to bearing the burden of the CB1 slot on an NFL roster. If the eminent sage of the secondary can stay healthy, the Lions should have a more potent defense this season.

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Tags: Detroit Lions

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