To get ready for the 2013 season, Pride Of Detroit's writers weighed in with predictions on a variety of topics. You can make your own predictions by voting in the poll at the end of this post, and you can see what our writers had to say below.
Next up: Who will the Detroit Lions' breakout defensive player be in 2013?
Sean Yuille: Nick Fairley
Considering he had 5.5 sacks in only 13 games last year, some might say that Nick Fairley has already broken out. I can buy that argument, but I expect Fairley to break out to an elite level this year. He has the makings of being a Pro Bowl player for the Lions next to Ndamukong Suh, and I expect him to take his game to another level this season.
Jeremy Reisman: Jason Jones
This is a tough one. There are a lot of players on the Lions defense that fans are just waiting to break out. Bill Bentley, Jason Jones, DeAndre Levy, Glover Quin, Willie Young, I could go on. But I think the one that shows the most promise is Jones. He will likely split time with Israel Idonije on the left side, but with the focus of the offensive line directed toward the defensive tackles, I think Jones will take advantage of this opportunity and make a splash. I think he comes close to doubling his season-high total in sacks (5).
Brian Packey: Willie Young
Take two. I thought Willie Young would break out last year, but maybe that was a premature prediction. Hopefully Young breaks out this year with more reps.
Christopher Tomke: Bill Bentley
Not much more than a hunch, really. Bill Bentley’s shown some flashes here and there, and I have a feeling he’s going to secure the third CB spot and make some big plays in nickel situations. (I suppose my true pick would be Louis Delmas, in that he’s "breaking out" of the IR, but he’s a known commodity at this point.)
Eric Shinabarger: Louis Delmas
I am cheating a little bit here because this is more of a comeback player than breakout player, but Louis Delmas hasn’t played in so long it feels like he needs to break out again. Delmas’ impact on the Lions’ defense is palpable both as a playmaker and a leader. In his first game back against the New England Patriots this preseason, Delmas emphasized that point with a fumble recovery and a tackle for a loss during limited playing time. Call me a naïve optimist, but I think that this is the year that Delmas stays healthy and becomes the defensive anchor he has shown glimpses of.
Nick Catoni: Louis Delmas
Even though his rookie season can be viewed as a "breakout" year and he’s been twice named a Pro Bowl alternate, Delmas hasn’t done much in the past two seasons due to injuries. I love Louis, and like many fans, I’m still waiting to see him return to his 2009-10 form. I feel this will be the year he finds his old self and stays healthy all season while doing it.