Vanden Bosch says Tulloch is 'A Tackling Machine'

Posted Aug 1, 2011

The Lions inked sixth-year linebacker Stephen Tulloch to a one-year deal on Monday, marking the second former-Tennessee starter to sign with Detroit in as many seasons.

"Schwartz believed in me back in 2006 when I first came out of NC State," said Tulloch. "They were going to draft another guy that actually went to Green Bay and Schwartz went upstairs and told (Jeff Fisher), you know, ‘this is the guy we want.’ He believed in me. He gave me an opportunity.

"I always told Schwartz, ‘I’m indebted to you for giving me the chance to play in this League and show my ability.'"

At 5-11, not only was Tulloch overlooked for his size, Schwartz says he played faster than he tested at the NFL Combine.

He started as a true freshman at NC State, declaring for the NFL Draft after three years.

“He’s tough and he’s physical," said Kyle Vanden Bosch. "He fits our mold and what we’re trying to do on defense. We want to punish people every week and that’s the way he is. He’s a hard hitter. If a running back steps up in his hole, he’s going to make him pay for it."

It seems Tulloch is cut from the same cloth as Vanden Bosch - his teammate in Tennessee.

Vanden Bosch characterizes Tulloch as "a tackling machine", citing that he will help the Detroit defense accomplish its goal of punishing opponent offenses.

"The thing I appreciate about him is he never missed practice, never missed games – he tackles anything that moves," said Vanden Bosch. "He just loves football. He’s a big-time hitter and he’s going to help this defense out.

"With what we have up front, having a guy like him behind us to clean things up – he’s going to make us a lot better.”

Tulloch could play inside or outside, as could any of the other Lions' linebackers.

DeAndre Levy started in the middle last season, but won't be concerned if the coaches decide to move him outside. The leadership role Levy took last season could be handled from either position.

"We talk about guys that are multidimensional," said Schwartz of scouting linebackers. "There are nickel roles, there are base roles, there are short yardage roles ... it’s what we think is the best combination when we get out there."