As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2012. Next up is our look at the Detroit Lions' cornerbacks.
Chris Houston - 14 games (14 starts) | 56 tackles, 11 pass defenses, 2 INT, 2 FF
Houston was the Lions' best cornerback in 2012. It wasn't even close. While he did struggle a bit in the final couple games, Houston had an outstanding season. This could make it difficult for the Lions to re-sign him, but it was worth it simply because I can't imagine what the secondary would have looked like without Houston playing as well as he did in 2012.
Jonte Green - 15 games (5 starts) | 29 tackles, 4 pass defenses, 1 INT, 0 FF
Green's improvement from the preseason to the end of the regular season was quite astonishing. In the preseason, I didn't even think he was deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster. He looked like someone who belonged on the practice squad at best. However, by the middle of the season, he had transformed himself into a decent cornerback. He obviously still has a lot of room for improvement, but he has already come a long way given how much he struggled last summer.
Bill Bentley (finished season on IR) - 4 games (3 starts) | 15 tackles, 0 pass defenses, 0 INT, 0 FF
Bentley showed a lot of promise in the preseason and established himself as a starter. Injuries really derailed his development, though, and he was placed on injured reserve a quarter of the way through the season as a result. This was extremely disappointing, because hopes were high for Bentley's rookie season.
Jacob Lacey (finished season on IR) - 11 games (9 starts) | 36 tackles, 4 pass defenses, 1 INT, 0 FF
Lacey had a pretty disappointing season. His play was often quite shaky, and injuries were really a problem. He not only missed five games, but he had to leave a few others because he got banged up. I'd imagine the Lions were expecting more out of Lacey in 2012.
Drayton Florence - 8 games (3 starts) | 19 tackles, 7 pass defenses, 1 INT, 0 FF
Florence was signed just before the start of the regular season as a veteran presence at cornerback, but he broke his arm in Week 2 and was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return. He did ultimately come back, but he got benched by the end of the season due to his inconsistent play.
Ron Bartell - 1 game (1 start) | 9 tackles, 1 pass defense, 0 INT, 0 FF
Bartell was added to the roster at the end of the season and was active for only one game. He is under contract for next season, indicating that the Lions think he could be a part of their future plans at cornerback, at least for next season.
Pat Lee - 7 games (0 starts) | 7 tackles, 0 pass defenses, 0 INT, 0 FF
Lee joined midway through the season and mainly contributed on special teams.
Chris Greenwood - spent entire season on PUP list
Due to an injury, Greenwood ended up missing all of training camp. He was likely healthy enough to be activated from the PUP list during the season, but he wouldn't have contributed enough to make it worthwhile. The lack of a chance to really acclimate himself to the NFL during training camp hurt his development, and 2012 was basically a redshirt year for Greenwood.