O'HARA'S MONDAY COUNTDOWN: Choosing the Lions All-Decade team

Before we ring out the old and welcome the new, the Monday Countdown offers a toast and a salute to the Detroit Lions All-Decade team for 2010-19.

All three units – offense, defense and special teams – are recognized, with honorable mentions at every position.

As always feel free to disagree.

And we promise to do this again in 2029.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

Matthew Stafford (2010-present)

Drafted first overall and settled the quarterback position. Holds all the franchise records, will add to them.

Backup quarterback: Shaun Hill (2010-13). Always ready, won some games.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates a game-winning touchdown run against the Chicago Bears in 2016.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates a game-winning touchdown run against the Chicago Bears in 2016.

RUNNING BACK

Reggie Bush (2013-14)

The Lions needed impact at running back when they signed him as a free agent in 2013. He provided it with 1,006 yards in 2013, big plays for 2014 playoff team.

Honorable mention: Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, Jahvid Best

WIDE RECEIVER

Calvin Johnson (2010-15)

Lived up to Megatron nickname bestowed on him as a rookie by teammate Roy Williams. Highlight catches were routine. Set the NFL single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012. Hall of Fame worthy.

Golden Tate (2014-18)

One of the best free-agent signings in franchise history, had 90 or more catches in his first four seasons. One of the best with yards after the catch.

Kenny Golladay (2017-present)

Makes contested catches downfield, plays hard to the last second. Topped 1,000 yards receiving twice and the best is ahead.

Honorable mention: Marvin Jones Jr., Nate Burleson

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) hauls in a catch against the Carolina Panthers in 2018.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) hauls in a catch against the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

TIGHT END

Brandon Pettigrew (2010-15)

Was the Lions' second pick in the first round after Stafford and was a big target for Stafford -- 71, 83, 59, 41 catches from 2010-13. Also blocked.

Honorable mention: Tony Scheffler, Eric Ebron

TACKLE

Jeff Backus (2010-12)

Still steady at left tackle his last three seasons.

Taylor Decker (2016-present)

Starter at left tackle from day one of 2016.

Honorable mention: Riley Reiff, Rick Wagner, Gosder Cherilus

GUARD

Rob Sims (2010-14)

80 games, 80 starts, quality play in all of them after coming to Detroit in a trade.

Larry Warford (2013-16)

Played like a vet as a rookie and kept it up.

Honorable mention: Graham Glasgow

CENTER

Frank Ragnow (2018-present)

A college center at Arkansas, broke in with the Lions at left guard as a rookie. Moved to center in 2019 – and should stay there for the next decade.

Honorable mention: Dominic Raiola

Detroit Lions offensive lineman Frank Ragnow (77) spikes the football after helping pave the way on a rushing touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in 2018.
Detroit Lions offensive lineman Frank Ragnow (77) spikes the football after helping pave the way on a rushing touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in 2018.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END

Ziggy Ansah (2013-18)

He had big games and big seasons – 14.5 sacks in 2015, 12 in 2017 – but injuries kept him from reaching and sustaining his full potential.

Cliff Avril (2010-12)

He had 39.5 sacks as a Lion and 29 from 2010-12. He added to his total with the Seahawks, but it all started with the Lions as a third-round draft pick in '08.

Honorable mention: Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jason Jones

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Ndamukong Suh (2010-14)

A powerful player, motivated to destroy anything in his way on the field. Four Pro Bowls, first-team All Pro three times as a Lion. A great, great player.

Haloti Ngata (2015-17)

Injuries held him back, but he was a powerful, athletic force in the middle in his three seasons as a Lion.

Honorable mention: Corey Williams, Nick Fairley

LINEBACKER

DeAndre Levy (2010-16)

He never made a Pro Bowl, but he was a versatile player in the middle or at outside linebacker. He set his career high of six interceptions in 2013. Injures limited him to four games his last two seasons.

Stephen Tulloch (2011-15)

A good, solid, dependable player as a Lion who filled a void as part of the 2011 playoff team when signed as a free agent that year.

Devon Kennard (2018-present)

His individual play has not gotten lost in two seasons of losing. A high effort player who improved his pass rush skills with the Lions.

Honorable mention: Tahir Whitehead

CORNERBACK

Darius Slay (2013-present)

A Pro Bowl player the last three seasons who covers the opponent's top receiver week after week.

Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay's (23) first pick-six of his career against the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.
Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay's (23) first pick-six of his career against the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.

Rashean Mathis (2013-15)

The Lions thought they'd have him for a year when he signed after 10 years in Jacksonville, but he was such a pro they kept him for three. The third year was shortened by injury.

Honorable mention: Nevin Lawson, Chris Houston

SAFETY

Tavon Wilson (2016-present)

A Patriots transplant who's put down deep roots in a variety of roles.

Glover Quin (2013-18)

Respected for his play and his leadership. Great anticipation helped him intercept 19 passes as a Lion, with a league-high seven in his 2014 Pro Bowl season.

Honorable mention: Louis Delmas, James Ihedigbo

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKER

Matt Prater (2014-present)

Best in the league from 50-plus in the clutch.

Honorable mention: Jason Hanson (His decades were 1992-2012).

PUNTER

Sam Martin (2013-present)

Consistent punter, and on kickoffs and as a holder for Prater.

Honorable mention: Nick Harris

LONG SNAPPER

Don Muhlbach (2010-present)

The Nolan Ryan of long snappers hasn't lost his fast ball, or his consistency. Can't imagine a decade without him.

Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5), Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin (6) and Detroit Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach (48) against the Chicago Bears in 2019.
Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5), Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin (6) and Detroit Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach (48) against the Chicago Bears in 2019.

RETURN MAN

Jamal Agnew (2017-present)

He returned two punts for touchdowns as a rookie and got a punt return and kick return touchdown this year.

SPECIAL TEAMER

Don Carey (2011-17, one game in 2018)

The fact that Carey was signed to play one game in an emergency in 2018 indicates what high regard he was held in. He was always ready on special teams, or to fill in on defense when, and wherever, needed.

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