Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange
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Although general manager Martin Mayhew said after the season that he didn't think the defense needed to be retooled, the Lions clearly have more holes and concerns there than on the offensive side.

They presently have no cornerbacks on the roster signed beyond 2012. Although Chris Houston has emerged as a dependable left corner, he has dislocated the same shoulder two years in a row and there are concerns that the injury may be chronic.

There is a similar concern over the durability of FS Louis Delmas, who has battled injuries the last two seasons.

The Lions almost certainly will be looking to upgrade the secondary - be it through the draft or through trades.

At linebacker, the Lions have to first re-sign Tulloch and then determine if DeAndre Levy is what they are looking for on the outside, or if he would be better suited to be the fourth linebacker, shifting between the middle and outside.

Justin Durant, the other outside linebacker, has one year left on his contact.

MEDICAL WATCH

--LT Jeff Backus had surgery to repair a torn biceps. He is expected to be ready to participate in offseason workouts.

--RB Jahvid Best (concussion) has yet to be cleared to participate in football drills. He said after the season that he would continue conditioning, but not take any more concussion tests until the spring.

--RB Mikel Leshoure (Achilles tendon) is expected to be ready to participate in offseason workouts in April.

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