Schwartz downplays signings of defensive veterans

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz says the signing of three veteran players in the past few days should not be seen as a sign that the club is desperate on defense.

After adding defensive tackle Justin Bannan and linebacker Rocky McIntosh, the Lions also signed former Jacksonville Jaguars star cornerback Rashean Mathis, who worked at safety on Saturday in his first practice with the Lions. He will also get time at nickelback and cornerback.

“The only message is we are going to keep on trying to add good football players,” Schwartz told the Detroit News. “It wasn’t a reaction to anyone’s play or anything else. It was more just the opportunity to get those guys. We are happy to have all of them.”

Bannan will help spell Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley on the defensive line, while McIntosh, a former Redskin and Ram, could claim the left outside linebacker job.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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