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Israel Idonije talks about role in Lions' defense

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How are the Detroit Lions planning to use Israel Idonije? He talked this week about his role in their defense.

USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have some serious versatility on their defensive line with Jason Jones and Israel Idonije. Both players have the ability to line up outside at defensive end and inside at defensive tackle. Although both players are considered defensive ends for the Lions, the expectation is for them to see time at defensive tackle in certain situations.

Idonije, who just signed with the Lions last week, talked about his expected role in a recent interview. According to MLive, Idonije's primary focus will be on playing defensive end on first and second down. In passing situations, however, he could slide inside.

"I think the focus is first and second down, to be on the end," Idonije said. "Number one, just stop the run. In that the 4-3 style defense, stopping the run is the first focus. After that, whether it's inside on passing situations, or we're going to do something where I'm flexed outside in the (wide) nine to get after it from there."

It will be very interesting to see how many ends and tackles make the Lions' 53-man roster this year. Considering Jones and Idonije can slide inside in certain situations, it may be feasible for the Lions to keep only three true tackles on the team (Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley). Doing this would allow them to keep six defensive ends, which in turn would open up a spot for Ronnell Lewis.