LB DeAndre Levy has been quietly consistent for the Lions

Posted Oct 6, 2012

Through the first quarter of the season, Levy’s quietly been one of the most reliable defensive performers for the Lions.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy is probably one of the most even-keel football players you could ever meet. He never seems too amped up or never too down at any given time.

The best word to describe Levy to people who've never met him is consistent.

Kind of the same way his play on the field has been this season. Through the first quarter of the season, Levy’s quietly been one of the most reliable defensive performers for the Lions.

“He made about four or five plays down the stretch at the end (of the Vikings game last week) when we were trying to get the ball back and stop them,” Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham told “He was explosive at that point of the game which was the last 5-6 minutes.”

There was one play in particular last week, a 2nd-down-and-10 play at the 9:24 mark of the third quarter, when Levy stonewalled Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for a 3-yard gain. It’s one of those plays in the course of a game that doesn’t stick out on the stat sheet, but when you watch it again the next day, you realize that if Levy doesn’t adjust to a teammate making the wrong read and make the play himself, instead of a 3-yard gain, it probably results in a touchdown. The Vikings punted two plays later.

“He’s played like that the last three games and nobody's said anything about it,” Cunningham said. “He's really become a good pro and a joy to talk to every day. I never used to think he had a personality at all. Well it's come out lately, especially with me. He calls me out frequently about things, and the bad thing is, he's usually right when he does say something that I make a mistake on.”

The Lions drafted Levy in the third round in 2009 out of Wisconsin in their first rebuilding draft as a new regime. Levy played on the outside as a rookie, starting 10 games. He then moved inside in 2010 and started every game he played in that season at middle linebacker. When Stephen Tulloch arrived before the 2011 season, Levy was back on the outside again.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talks all the time about his brand of football player being versatile. That’s Levy in a nutshell. He can play outside, he can play inside, he’s fast, he’s powerful.

“He's one of those draft choices the Lions should be really proud of,” Cunningham said. “When Tully (Tulloch) and (Justin) Durant came in, life changed for DeAndre. And he's really taken a leadership role and he's played very consistent.”

Now that Levy knows his role and has had a chance to get comfortable in it, the Lions are starting to see consistent results. Coming off his first season of triple-digit tackles last year (107), Levy leads the Lions with 31 tackles through four games this year.