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Tahir Whitehead | Linebacker

Team: Detroit Lions
Age / DOB:  (25) / 4/2/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 241
College: Temple
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Lions LB Tahir Whitehead played as the second-team middle linebacker in the third preseason game.
Whitehead had lined up as the first-team strongside 'backer throughout training camp, but Travis Lewis started and recorded eight tackles in that position against the Jaguars. A 2012 seventh-round pick, Lewis has just seven career tackles, so it would be surprising if Whitehead lost his job to him. Whitehead's role could be in danger if 2014 second-rounder Kyle Van Noy could ever get healthy. Aug 29 - 9:00 AM

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Player News


Tahir Whitehead has been operating as the starting strong-side linebacker at Lions camp.

It sounds like he's comfortably ahead of 2014 second-rounder Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy has been a mess in pass-coverage so far at camp and has been left "spinning in his shoes" at times trying to keep up with RBs Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner. Whitehead should hold down the gig as a plus run defender.
Aug 7 - 10:14 AM

Tahir Whitehead is expected to compete for the Lions' strong-side linebacker job.

Whitehead started in place of Stephen Tulloch last year, finishing with 86 tackles and grading out as PFF's No. 14 inside linebacker. With Tulloch healthy, Whitehead will need to beat out Kyle Van Noy for a starting job. Whitehead can also back up at all three linebacker spots.
Mar 28 - 5:53 PM

The Lions are using Tahir Whitehead at all three linebacker spots during OTAs.

Whitehead has been a strong-side linebacker his first two seasons, so the increased versatility should help his roster chances. The Lions drafted Kyle Van Noy to play SAM, and Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy are locked in as starters. Whitehead is behind Ashlee Palmer for sub-package snaps, but could be a candidate to back up at middle linebacker.
Sun, Jun 15, 2014 03:05:00 PM

The Detroit News expects the Lions to let LBs Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer compete for Justin Durant's old job on the strong-side.

Whitehead and Lewis were both late-round picks last spring, while Palmer is a four-year veteran. Whitehead and Lewis combined for just three snaps on defense as rookies, while Palmer has only made nine starts in four years. The Lions should be on the lookout for low-cost vets on the open market.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013 02:51:00 PM

Lions DC Gunther Cunningham believes fifth-round LB Tahir Whitehead is "much better than a fifth-round draft pick."

"He is something," Cunningham said. "That's by far the biggest surprise I've had in quite a while as a coach." Whitehead has been drawing raves all spring, and appears ticketed for more than just special teams as a rookie. A dynamo behind the line at Temple, Whitehead could see meaningful snaps as a nickel rusher.
Tue, Jun 5, 2012 09:59:00 AM

Fifth-round LB Tahir Whitehead impressed Lions coaches with his explosiveness at rookie minicamp.

Whitehead's new coaches were also impressed with his ability to "digest a new scheme." The Detroit Free Press believes Whitehead could "turn out to be the surprise pick of the draft this fall." If Whitehead makes an impression as a rookie, it will likely be on special teams and in the nickel defense.
Sat, May 19, 2012 09:43:00 AM

Lions agreed to terms with fifth-round LB Tahir Whitehead on a four-year contract.

Whitehead was a nickel rusher at Temple, and he'll compete for a similar role in Detroit while also playing strong-side linebacker. Whitehead has a quick first step and posted an explosive 10-foot-7 broad jump at the Owls' Pro Day.
Thu, May 10, 2012 11:55:00 AM

Lions traded up with the Vikings to select Temple LB Tahir Whitehead with the No. 138 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

The Lions also acquired the No. 223 pick, with the Vikes receiving a 2013 fourth-rounder in return. A situational pass rusher with the Owls, Whitehead is likely ticketed for the same role in Detroit. A tiny linebacker at 6'1" and 233 pounds, Whitehead has plus range and athletic ability to go with an array of moves. He rarely plays against the run because he struggles to get off blocks. Expect Whitehead to begin his career as a special teamer.
Sat, Apr 28, 2012 02:08:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Matthew Stafford
2Dan Orlovsky
RB1Joique Bell
2Ameer Abdullah
3Theo Riddick
4Zach Zenner
GLB1Joique Bell
2Ameer Abdullah
3RB1Theo Riddick
2Ameer Abdullah
FB1Mike Burton
WR11Calvin Johnson
2Corey Fuller
3T.J. Jones
WR21Golden Tate
2Lance Moore
WR31Corey Fuller
TE1Eric Ebron
2Brandon Pettigrew
3Tim Wright
LT1Riley Reiff
2Corey Robinson
LG1Laken Tomlinson
2Taylor Boggs
C1Travis Swanson
RG1Manuel Ramirez
2Larry Warford
RT1Cornelius Lucas
2LaAdrian Waddle
K1Matt Prater