Turk McBride Starting For Lions

Former Chief Turk McBride has joined his old teammate Bernard Pollard in quickly starting for his new team after being cut by Kansas City.  Pollard is starting at safety for the Texans and now McBride has the Lions starting defensive end.  He also played a little defensive tackle this past Sunday.

“It’s like riding a bike,” McBride said.TurkMcBrideLions

But then a reporter made a point: When you ride a bike, you want your tires inflated.

“You’re right about that,” McBride said, laughing.  “You’re definitely right about that.  They definitely have a weight advantage over me by almost 100 pounds — or close to 80, 75 pounds.”

McBride said he weighed only 253 pounds — about 25 less than he has in the past — not the ideal size for someone banging around with the big bodies in the trenches.  But there is a reason for that, and he was more than happy to move inside when the Lions needed him.

“A couple of the bigger guys got banged up, and so we put him in there,” defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. ” And he played well.”

The Chiefs used him mostly as an end in their 4-3 defense but moved him to tackle in passing situations.  They considered him quick enough to rush the passer off the edge or penetrate up the middle.  They listed him at 278 pounds.

Then the Chiefs changed coaches and defensive systems after last season, and they asked McBride to move to outside linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme.  They told him to weigh less than 260 pounds.

“So I lightened up to about 250-something, and then the transition didn’t work,” McBride said.  “So I’m here.”

Lions coach Jim Schwartz was impressed with McBride’s effort.

“I thought he chased the ball well, he did some good things.  We actually rushed him inside a little bit, too, and he did a good job there.”

When the Lions picked up McBride I said he would be starting in a few weeks for Gunther Cunningham.  Sure, I was a week or two late, but you had to know Cunningham would find a way to get Turk onto the field.

I always liked him, but there was no room on this defense for McBride.  He is the perfect inside-out 4-3 lineman and should have a big impact for Detroit once he bulks back up.

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