The Detroit Lions have needed help at cornerback for years, and in Amani Oruwariye, they selected a building block for the future in last year’s draft.
It took more than half of the season, but finally, Oruwariye managed to get on the ledger with his first career interception in the NFL, and it was a beauty. Against the Washington Redskins, Oruwariye jumped a route and made a nice play on the ball to take it away from his former Big Ten rival Dwayne Haskins.
Here’s a look at the interception:
Oruwariye is the first Lions rookie at cornerback to intercept a pass since 2012 when Jonte Green accomplished the feat for the team.
Obviously, the Lions hope this is merely the first interception of many for Oruwariye in his career in Detroit.
Amani Oruwariye’s Stats
This season, Oruwariye hasn’t done much for the team as he battled a knee injury most of the early part of the year, and as a result, his stats aren’t robust. Oruwariye only has 1 tackle so far this season for the Lions, but has been a player who has delivered before given his work in college.
While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Obviously, the Lions have to hope that as he comes along, Oruwariye can manage to become the ball hawk he was for the Nittany Lions for years.
How Lions Can Improve Defense
The Lions have struggled on defense this season, but it is a huge plus to see a player like Oruwariye making all the right moves on the field for the team early in his career at a position of need.
Detroit needs to consider making a few changes in order to potentially spice things up. First of all, they need to consider giving some playing time to players who play hard on special teams yet do not ordinarily see the field. Jalen Reeves Maybin could fit in a role for the team’s linebacking core, which has struggled.
Additionally, as Pro Football Focus points out, the team might ponder switching up scheme and personnel in order to better leverage some situations.
Secondly, perhaps it’s time for Matt Patricia to switch things up in terms of his own scheme and calls. If Darius Slay is correct and the Lions haven’t managed to change much up which teams are catching on to, perhaps it’s time for a change in terminology.
Detroit could always make a bold move and fire defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, but with his status as Patricia’s friend and a potential figurehead coordinator, even that might be a fruitless endeavor and something unlikely to occur.
At this point, it seems as health might be the only way for the Lions to feel better about things on the defensive side. Missing names like Tracy Walker, Slay, Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand for extended times hasn’t helped whatsoever.
Perhaps with his development, Oruwariye can be a major part of the solution for the team. Interceptions like this might only help that to be the case.