PHOENIX – After signing with Detroit as an unrestricted free agent earlier this month, linebacker Paul Worrilow said all he wanted was a chance to come in and compete for a starting role. It didn't even matter to him whether that was at the WILL or the MIKE.
It appears Worrilow will be granted that wish.
"We're going to work on that during the OTAs and kind of see how he fits," Lions general manager Bob Quinn said at the league meetings earlier this week. "We think he has versatility to play both (WILL and MIKE)."
Worrilow started most of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons in Atlanta before losing his starting MIKE (middle linebacker) job to rookie Deion Jones last season.
As a starter, Worrilow eclipsed 100 tackles both in 2013 and 2014, and recorded 95 in 2015. His 142 tackles in 2014 led the Falcons. He appeared in 12 games – and made 21 tackles – this past season.
Worrilow could potentially play a number of different roles in Detroit.
"Paul's got a lot of experience in Atlanta," Quinn said. "Started, you know, two-and-a-half or three years for them before they brought in some younger players, so I think he has value in base defense.
"I think he has value in their sub defenses. He's got a role in the kicking game, so we think he can – We're going to throw him in the mix and see how it kind of works out with the guys that we have and any guys we might add."
And add to the linebacker spot Quinn and the Lions will still most certainly do this offseason, either in free agency or next month's draft. It's the one position on the roster with probably the least amount of depth at this point in the offseason. Only Worrilow, Tahir Whitehead and second-year player Antwione Williams have any real game experience.
"He's not the total answer to everything we want," Quinn said of Worrilow. "But we think he's a really good signing that we kind of targeted early on."