Anzalone’s return to Detroit’s defense is significant for 2023, because he knows the system and scheme and can provide a leg-up for his younger teammates. Additionally, it’s a good fit because Anzalone loves Detroit, something he has proven from the beginning.
After the contract agreement was officially revealed on Monday, March 13, Anzalone hopped on Twitter later in the evening and provided a simply but effective statement on the situation. As he said, he’s home.
“I’m home,” Anzalone tweeted along with a blue heart emoji, proving he was very happy to get the deal done.
Previously after the season, Anzalone discussed the fact that he thought the 2022 season was his best because of the journey and the lessons that he learned.
“Year 6— Best year yet. Not because of the results but because of the journey. Beyond thankful for all of the blessings and lessons this year. Thank you God!,” Anzalone tweeted at the time.
The former Florida Gator and New Orleans Saints product seems to be very thrilled to have played a great season in 2022, and even more happy that it led to a return in Detroit for 2023.
Alex Anzalone Called a Most Improved Player for 2022
It was clear Anzalone had a great season in 2022, and recently, he received an offseason a shout-out for his work.
Now, as a result of his play, Anzalone has been cited as being one of the players who improved the most during the 2022 season. Pro Football Focus and Gordon McGuiness picked the player who exemplified that on every roster in the league in 2022. As he wrote, Anzalone was impressive on the whole.
“A third-round draft pick in 2017, Anzalone played his most snaps in a single season and delivered a solid performance overall. There were some rough moments throughout the year, but he also had four games with a PFF grade higher than 80.0,” McGuiness wrote in the piece.
By playing in 17 games, Anzalone also showcased durability on the field. He was there for his team and performed well when he did, posting career highs in tackles (125), tackles for-loss (seven), and fumble recoveries (one).
Anzalone’s evolution was impressive. At age 28, the team will have to decide whether he is going to be a core piece of the puzzle moving forward this offseason as a result of this.
Alex Anzalone Enjoyed Big 2022 Season for Lions
Anzalone came on strong during the 2022 season, and was flying to the ball and making plenty of clutch moves on the field for his team most of the year.
Statistically, Anzalone managed to have a career season in Detroit. This past season, he put up 125 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception. Prior to that, his high water mark in tackles was a mere 78 in 2021.
In terms of his own play, it can be said that Anzalone has led the way for the Lions in a ton of senses. Arguably his best play this season was the interception he made on first-and-goal early in the third quarter on Thanksgiving Day against Buffalo.
Anzalone took a tipped pass and snuffed out a promising Bills drive to net his own offense some major momentum. It was another case of the veteran understanding the defense and being sound in the moment to make an impact play.
As a whole, Anzalone has put up 326 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in his career. That’s solid production for the Lions at a big position of need.
Now that Anzalone is returning, the team has locked up another key defensive figure to go with defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs. The pair returning home is significant for the Lions.