After the Detroit Lions didn't address their need for starting linebackers during the 2011 NFL Draft, many people figured they were planning to add linebacker Stephen Tulloch during free agency. Similar to Kyle Vanden Bosch's connection to Lions head coach Jim Schwartz before he signed last year, Tulloch and Schwartz were connected by their time in Tennessee together.
While it wasn't a sure thing that Tulloch would sign with the Lions by any means, he did ultimately end up deciding to play in Detroit next season. Unsurprisingly, Schwartz was a big reason why he opted to join the Lions.
"Schwartz is the reason why I am a Detroit Lion," said Tulloch, who signed a one-year deal worth $3.25 million. "He believed in me back in 2006 when I came out of NC State. He gave me a chance."
"They were set to draft another guy and Schwartz went up and told Jeff Fisher, 'This is the guy we want,'" Tulloch said. "He believed in me, and I always told him, 'I'm indebted to you for giving me a chance to play in this league.'"
Tulloch officially signed with the Lions today and was wearing No. 55. Via Dave Birkett, Justin Durant is currently wearing No. 57, Eric Wright is No. 21 (also Aaron Brown's number) and Rashied Davis is No. 82. Durant said on Twitter that he is negotiating to get a different number, and it sounds like he wants No. 52, his college number, from Doug Hogue.