Don't Overlook Marquand Manuel

While the focus is on rookie Louis Delmas, there is another Lions safety planning to make a name for himself.

Safety Marquand Manuel has played for five teams in his seven seasons in the NFL.

The Lions are set to be his sixth team in eight seasons.

But as well-traveled has he has been, he has also played well enough to appear in 111 games -- regular-season and playoffs combined -- and to start 55 of them, including Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.

"Some people look at it like, 'Oh, you've been on a lot of teams,' " Manuel said recently."I've started on every team I've been on -- not one game, not two games, but 14, 15, 16 starts."

Manuel spent his first two years with the Bengals, who drafted him in the sixth round out of Florida in 2002. He played 28 games for them, starting nine.

Then he spent two years with the Seahawks. He played 35 games for them, starting 14, including the Super Bowl loss to the Steelers.

From there, he bounced from the Packers (16 games, 16 starts), to the Panthers (16 games, two starts) to the Broncos (16 games, 14 starts).

Manuel attributed all the movement to coaching changes and free agency. "In the whole scheme of things, I never really been penciled No. 1," Manuel said. "But I always came in and just whatever they asked me to do, I learned the scheme and I tried to pick it up and play as hard as I could. ...

"You don't know. Every day you prepare as if you are the starter."

Manuel said his experience has helped him pick up the Lions' defense, which is similar to what he ran with the Seahawks. It should help him compete for playing time against a rookie like Delmas, as impressive as Delmas was in the offseason.

"The game's a lot slower for me than it is for Louis," Manuel said. "Very athletic, but the game's moving fast for him. For me it's so slow that I know when I did something wrong."

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