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Houston says Lions secondary will “surprise a lot of people,” if healthy

Chris Houston

Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston (23) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


Much has been said about the performance of the Lions’ secondary last season, punctuated with a 466-yard shredding by Drew Brees and the Saints in the playoffs, which came six days after being filleted by Matt Flynn and the Packers.

Cornerback Chris Houston believes that the situation is being made to seem worse than it really is.

“The last two games of the season, there was a drop-off,” Houston said, via Dave Dye of “We had a lot of injuries and guys trying to play through injuries. That comes with the game. There’s no excuses. . . . But before that -- those 13, 14 games – we were up there at the top. If we can stay healthy, we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

Houston has a point. As Dye points out, safety Louis Delmas missed the last five regular-season games. Other defensive backs were dinged up late in the year, including Aaron Berry, Amari Spievey, and Erik Coleman.

Even if the defensive backs remains healthy for every game in 2012, the Lions must account for the departure of Eric Wright to Tampa via free agency. “He can help take away the best wide receiver,” Houston said of Wright. “We’re going to miss him.”

With Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler in the division and plenty of other high-end quarterbacks elsewhere in the conference, the Lions need to find a way to improve their pass defense, or it’ll be impossible to improve on last year’s one-and-done trip to the postseason.