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Anzalone expecting good competition on defense: It brings the best out of everyone

Not all of the important lessons that linebacker Alex Anzalone learned in the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions were on the playing field.

One was simple math – wins and losses, and what they meant when they added up.

The Lions have started slow in the last two seasons – an 0-8 start that ended with a record of 3-13-1 in 2021 and a 1-6 start in 2022 that ended with a 9-8 win-loss record.

The Lions went 8-2 in the last 10 games of 2022, but the slow start kept them from making the playoffs as a wild card.

"We learned a lot of lessons the last 10 games or so," Anzalone said. "The biggest lesson I learned is you can't have a slow start in the NFL.

"Every game matters. You never know which one it's going to be. Last year we're a game away way from going to the playoffs. You can't have any off games. You can't be up and down.

"You have to be consistently a good defense. You don't have to play the best you've ever played every game, but you just have to be consistent."

View photos from Day 4 of Detroit Lions training camp on Wednesday July 26, 2023.

Anzalone likes the direction the defense has taken with key additions at key positions.

He is expecting there were will competition for jobs on defense.

"Competition brings the best out of everyone," he said. "It's no secret there's competition in our room. It's out in the open. It's the best man wins, and that's how it's going to be.

"If you have the ability to play and deserve to play, you're going to play."

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