LIONS INSIDER

Detroit Lions looking for more out of Ronnell Lewis in 2013

Posted Feb 5, 2013

Ronnell Lewis didn't have the special teams impact the Detroit Lions expected during his rookie season in 2012 - the hope is that he will find his niche in 2013

Ronnell LewisThe Detroit Lions drafted Ronnell Lewis in the fourth round last April thinking he'd immediately bolster their special teams units, and potentially become a rotational defensive end.

But Lewis never had the impact that allowed the Lions to keep him active for strictly a special teams purpose and he never got into the defensive end rotation ahead of Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young.

Lewis spent the final seven games on the inactive list.

But with the potential for the Lions to lose Vanden Bosch to the salary cap and Avril and Jackson to free agency, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said he expects Lewis to have more of an impact next season.

"I think he's going to be a factor moving forward,” Mayhew told reporters in his end-of-the season interview session. “I think he's going to be a good rotational defensive end and a special teams player for us.

“He's got ability without question. He's good on special teams, he just didn't have enough impact to make one of those other guys inactive."

In a little more than two seasons at Oklahoma, Lewis totaled 118 tackles, 20.5 for loss, 10 sacks and two interceptions. He played only one defensive snap for the Lions this season and 96 on special teams. He finished with two tackles.

Mayhew said the Lions talked about how they were going to be able to keep him active on draft day, but took him because he fits what they like in their edge rushers and thought he’d have an impact on special teams.

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said it was an important offseason for Lewis.

“He and (Gosder) Cherilus go at it every day and Cherilus is not fun to go against,” he said. “I don’t know what he’s eating for breakfast, but he has an attitude every day he comes out here and it’s a good one. So, that’s a good thing for Ronnell and we’ll see what happens in this offseason.”