Biggs: Lions ready to give starting role to Levy

In their continued effort to shake up what has been a truly awful defense before the arrival of coach Jim Schwartz, the Detroit Lions are going to make a move at linebacker for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ford Field.

Rookie DeAndre Levy is expected to be moved into the starting lineup. Who’s spot is he taking? Sit back and wait for the answer. Tom Kowalski of speculates that the unlucky character will be one of two veterans—Ernie Sims or Julian Peterson. The best player on the defense right now is probably middle linebacker Larry Foote, the free-agent pickup from Pittsburgh, who will be excited about seeing his former team.

“He’ll probably start,’’ Gunter Cunningham, the defensive coordinator, said of Levy. “We don't know (who he will replace) yet. We're discussing that right now. Yeah, (Sims and Peterson) ought to be nervous, (Levy) is playing pretty good.’’

Levy, a fourth-round draft pick from Wisconsin, has led the team in tackles the last two weeks. He started for Sims on the weak side when the veteran sat out the Washington game with a shoulder injury. Sims has been a mainstay, long considered one of the few bright spots on the defense. Peterson was a big addition from Seattle who has been named to five Pro Bowls.

“If we're going to follow the philosophy of the head coach, the best player should be out there, and I darn sure think he's one of the best players we've got right now," Cunningham said. “Right now, the thought is to not take him off the field on any package. That's a big load for a rookie, but I think he can handle it, and Jim thinks he can handle it, too. We're going to coach him hard."

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