Rumors out of Tampa have the Lions interested yet again in another Marinelli protégé!

Former Tampa Bay MLB Shelton Quarles is very familiar with the Tampa Two defense that Lions’ coach Rod Marinelli and his son-in-law and DC Joe Barry run.  He served with both of them as a staple since 1999 as their starting MLB.  Now rumors out of Tampa (see link below) have the Lions trying to lure him out of retirement.

There are several ways to read this, but before we do let me tell you that the Lions’ staff would love to have him here.  Now the question is whether or not GM Matt Millen can or will pull the trigger on the deal?

What does that say about the current Lions?  Now the Lions, if asked publicly, won’t comment on this, or if asked about this report, they will simply tell you that they are happy with what they have.  That is a good answer considering that if they truly aren’t happy with Teddy Lehman and Paris Lenon, they certainly don’t want them to spend training looking over their shoulders.

Here is my read.  I know for a fact that Barry and Marinelli would love to see Quarles wearing the Lions helmet next season.  I think that they see Quarles who is a stand up guy and a great technique and discipline guy who could come and show some of these younger players exactly what they want out of the MLB.  I also have reason to believe that they are happy with Paris and Teddy, but that they think there are some “instinct” issues in the Tampa Two that maybe they are not mastering.

With that said, if the Lions get Quarles, they may not have room on the squad for both him and Donte’ Curry who is also an older vet that the Lions keep around because of his great attitude and special teams ability.  Curry is a great locker room guy, but lacks NFL starter talent and there simply may not be room for the two of them, and Quarles still has gas in the tank and is more talented.

If, and this is a big if, the Lions kept them both then they would have to let a talented young LB go and that would be the wrong move and simply disastrous.  This is not the Lions team of old that was so void of talent that it was easy to cut anyone if you could find a guy that could put steam on a mirror.

You also have to remember that the Lions have a lot of draft picks to sign (including the #2 overall) and are not ripe with a large amount of fluid cash.  I don’t see Quarles coming to Detroit with an incentive laden deal that is not inclusive of a nice signing bonus.  So I am not saying it won’t happen, I am saying that it would be very interesting to see happen and to see how it was worked out.

If the Lions are not happy at MLB, then they have to make the move and it would be an immediate sign that the Paris and Teddy careers with the Lions as potential starters are close to done.  It is that simple.  So, were the Lions blowing smoke with their praise of Teddy and Paris?  I don’t think so, and I don’t see this coming to fruition.  Good idea, but not enough cash to swing it on the Quarles end, and too much talent to cut someone loose on the Lions side.  Good idea, but bad timing unless the Lions have been disingenuous with their praise of Teddy and Paris.  I have been at practice and I don’t believe it was.

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