Carpe diem, which of course is Latin for "seize the day," will be the major theme of Sunday afternoon for members of the Detroit Lions' young yet also somewhat experienced secondary, each of whom have spent plenty of time in the background during their careers.
Assuming starting cornerback Chris Houston and starting safety Louis Delmas can't play, it will be up to a host of others to get the job done and stifle Sam Bradford's improving passing attack. Houston and Delmas haven't practiced all week due to lingering injury, lending definite concern to the notion that they'll be ready for the season's first game.
So, Amari Spievey, Erik Coleman, Sean Jones, Kevin Barnes, Jacob Lacey, Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Drayton Florence (am I leaving anyone out?) we're looking at you. Both Houston and Delmas can be viewed as the best players at their respective backfield positions, so to fill this massive void, the Lions will have to rely on balanced production from a host of players they only know speckles of limited statistical information about.
Here's some of their fuzzy math: Spievey has started 24 total games and grabbed five interceptions. Jones has started at safety 85 times in his career, but never scored a defensive touchdown. Lacey has 28 starts at cornerback with two touchdowns, yet is known more for his tackling. Barnes has started only three times and grabbed three interceptions. Florence, in five years at corner, has done a little of all that, while Bentley and Green have done nothing as rookies, and are still learning on the job.
Confused yet? As Don Henley once sung attempting to get to the heart of the matter, "The more I know, the less I understand." Plenty of answers should be provided in a hurry by late Sunday afternoon, though, when at some point, each of these sporadic contributors will have been put to the test in a full game. While many see the chance for failure and a poor start, the other side of the coin shows golden opportunity. Each one of these players can cement their roster spot with a quality performance right off the bat. Everybody can make a unique name for themselves in a new contributing role, and perhaps become a household name should they excel.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. No matter how scattered, confusing or injured, the Lions' backfield is still their backfield. They'll still have to shut down a passing attack and limit the damage an opposing quarterback can do in order to come out ahead. With a little motivation and hard work, though, everything can still work out favorably by 4 p.m. on Sunday.
For this crazy eight, its time to Carpe the stuffing out of Sunday's work diem.
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