Most underappreciated Lions of all time?

I am going witht LT Jeff Backus. He started 16 games for 10x seasons from 01-11 along with 15 games in 2012. I know he wasn’t an all-pro type guy but he was a warrior.

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I agree on Backus and would add Raiola. They both took a lot of flack from fans because they “were not good enough”. Neither were elite but both were lunch pail guys who gave you everything they had. Both were iron men. But because they were not elite they were always being trashed by part of the fan base. Loved them both - they are DC’s type of guys. We need more of them.

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I tend to think it’s Calvin Johnson. People talk like Stafford is his equal. And Stafford has improved a lot. But hell no. Suh isn’t his equal either. Only Barry.

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I was a big Raiola fan. He was an ass but he gave his all on the field.

Paul Naumoff.

Had to fill Joe Schmidt’s shoes(and be coached by him), played 13 seasons at LB, 142 consecutive games and only missed 2 games his entire career. One Pro Bowl, 12 takeaways and a ton of tackles.

Also, BTW, Joe Schmidt turned 90 two-week ago.

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James Stewart was a good back but we were still fuming about Barry retiring that we failed to notice him.

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Backus could be everyone’s first choice.

But I’ll throw out there Stephen Tulloch LB

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In the true sense of “underappreciated”, I’m saying Gosder Cherilus and Brandon Pettigrew.

We all knew what we had with Backus and Raiola. We knew they were limited in stature and ability. We knew what we wanted in a Center and finally got with Ragnow and even Swanson for a bit… someone who isn’t driven backwards on contact. Raiola was an undersized zone blocker, but enough heart and energy to hang on. He had certain strengths, like Backus, that were sufficiently appreciated even if we were ready to upgrade.

Cherilus, though, received no such appreciation, though it was due.
Another one, just because of his draft status, was Pettigrew. His career was poisoned by resentment that he wasn’t Oher. We’re talking @bignatty level negative energy creating toxicity in the fan community that undoubtedly bled into the player’s psyche.

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Good choice - another lunch pail guy. Not an elite reciever but good enough and did the dirty work needed on the line.

I think Gos is a good pick. The Colts paid him big money to play for them and he was pretty solid for them initially. He then ran into injury problems and got released.

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Leonard Thompson. WR who could do it all, and block.

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Billy Simms. He doesn’t get mentioned because of how short his career was but he was one hell of a running back.

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I’ve had some Twitter apologists for Stafford’s lack of winning in Detroit over 12 years tell me “all he had was Calvin.”

Which is absolute effing slander.

So I’m going to say Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.

Go check their numbers.

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He’s the perfect Lion…a sustained level of mediocrity over an impressive period of time.

Hardly anyone talks about Dre Bly anymore, but he was a solid player.

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Bly was awesome.

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Jason Hanson.

Talk about a guy who would have highlights and rings on a decent team. No one was more automatic in meaningless situations.

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There’s some recent-cy bias here, but Tate was huge during his time here. CJ was already on the back half of his career and was often hurt and/or out, and Tate won a bunch of games with some stellar clutch play.

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I loved Bly as a Lion. He was the only consistent playmaker on the team for a while, and watching him do the Deion high step to the end zone with a pick was almost enough to let me forget that was the only TD the Lions had in the whole game. If Bly wasn’t out there it meant we were watching Joey throw 2 yard passes to Aveion Cason on 3rd and 12.

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Here is an unorthodox name, Roy Williams. He had just under 4,000 receiving yards and just under 30 receiving TD’s in his first four years here with shitty QB’s. Then he brough us back a 1st, 3rd and 6th in draft compensation when he was traded.

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