Lions LB coach explains why Julian Okwara was scratched in Week 1


The Detroit Lions find themselves in a pretty unique situation when it comes to their outside linebacker room. Typically, a team utilizing a 3-4 base defense will keep four outside linebackers on their roster, allowing them to keep a fresh rotation on the field and have a pretty safe bench in case of injury.

The Lions have five: Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara, Charles Harris and Austin Bryant. Five may seem like a luxury on this defensive roster, but all five players shined in the preseason and in training camp, forcing general manager Brad Holmes to keep all of them.

Outside linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard believes having that extra outside linebacker allows the team to stay sharp and competitive. The team is likely only to have four players active on gameday, so that creates an in-week competition at practice to see which four will play.

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