For a team to reach the Super Bowl, a number of different roles need to be filled. Typically, you need a franchise quarterback, a dominant playmaker, a big-time defender and a vocal leader, among other roles.
What about some less traditional roles? As part of our Hyundai "Road to the Super Bowl" series, we've been tasked with determining which players should fill the following seven roles: enforcer, brain, technician, loose cannon, motivator, prankster and muscle. Let's take a stab at filling each one.
Enforcer: Ndamukong Suh. It's no secret that Suh is a very violent player. This has been a negative at times, sure, but Suh has established that you don't want to mess with him if you're an opposing player.
Brain: Matthew Stafford. One might say this seems like a no-brainer. Your quarterback needs to be capable of leading the offense not only through his actions during a play, but also before the ball is even snapped.
Technician: Riley Reiff. Reiff saw quite a bit of playing time as the Lions' sixth offensive lineman in his rookie season. In his sophomore campaign, it's likely Reiff will be starting, and he will have to be technically sound at whatever position he ends up playing.
Loose cannon: Louis Delmas. Part of the reason Delmas struggles to stay healthy is because he's a bit of a loose cannon on the field. He wants to hit people, and he's not afraid to go flying to lay someone out. This is also a positive, of course, and it's a reason why the Lions are better with Delmas on the field.
Motivator: Nate Burleson. Burleson has been perhaps the most vocal leader on the field before games, and that's expected to continue to be the case in 2013 as he returns from a season-ending leg injury.
Muscle: Calvin Johnson. He's Megatron. Enough said.