This offseason has centered around a couple former Detroit Lions players who are disgruntled with the team. Calvin Johnson feels he was mistreated by the organization on his way out; DeAndre Levy is in the middle of a filed grievance against the team after an ugly breakup.
But one former Lions player has firmly been in the team’s corner since his retirement early in the year. Stephen Tulloch, despite starting his career with the Titans and finishing it with the Eagles, decided Detroit was the place where he’d announce his retirement.
In his speech, he spoke glowingly of the team. “To come here as a free agent in 2011, it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life,” Tulloch said. “I love Detroit a lot, not just the organization, but the entire community.”
Tulloch, being the humanitarian he is, is now giving back to the community he loves so much. According to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Tulloch will be visiting the Lions this week to help mentor their young set of linebackers.
Stephen Tulloch told me he's visiting the the Lions later this week to work with linebackers. Not playing, just coaching/mentoring.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) August 21, 2017
The Lions could truly benefit from a veteran source now that Levy is no longer on the team. Detroit’s current veteran presence comes from Paul Worrilow and Tahir Whitehead, who both turned just 27 earlier in the year. The Lions currently have five of eight linebackers under 25 years old, including crucial rookies Jarrad Davis and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Tulloch, at his peak, was one of the best Lions linebackers in history. In four of his five seasons in Detroit, he totaled well over 100 tackles in each year. In 2013, he finished with a whopping 135 tackles, good for eighth-most in the NFL that season.
Throughout his entire career, Tulloch has been described as a leader, as evidenced by the mass outreach by former teammates when he was released in 2016 by the Lions.
@stephentulloch we gon miss you big bro preciate you looking out for me and helping the rook out!— Quandre Diggs (@qdiggs6) February 19, 2016
Going to miss @stephentulloch in da building! Appreciate u helpin me get right bro! Next play! 10 years! Being evaluated! Run grunt! Yup! Ha— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) February 19, 2016
@stephentulloch all love bro! It was fun this yr!! You're a great leader and a true pro. Good luck moving forward!— Lance Moore (@LanceMoore16) February 19, 2016
Now, Tulloch will bring that same leadership to a young 2017 Lions team that is looking to make a big step forward this season.