In this edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor another in the long list of Texas Longhorns who made an impact with the Honolulu Blue and Silver.
30. Doug English
Defensive Tackle / Nose Tackle. 1975-79, 1981-85 Detroit
Along with defensive end Al “Bubba” Baker, English was a cornerstone of the Lions’ feared “Silver Rush” defensive line of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The 6-foot-5, 255 pound English was Detroit’s second-round pick in 1975 out of the University of Texas. He became a starter in his third season, and with the arrival of Baker the following year the Lions defensive line soon became one of the NFL’s best. Because he was tired of the team’s chronic losing, English left football for a year after the Lions’ 2-14 debacle in 1979. However with the 1980 arrival of Billy Sims, and the team’s 9-7 finish that year, English was coaxed back to the Motor City for the start of the 1981 season.
Doug’s best season came in 1983, when he recorded 13 sacks. That year the Lions won the NFC Central Division title with a 9-7 mark, and came within a whisker of the NFC Championship game when they lost a heartbreaker to the San Francisco 49ers, 24-23, in the divisional round. Upon the arrival of new coach Darryl Rogers in 1985, English was moved to nose tackle in the team’s new 3-4 defensive alignment. His career ended after that season when he was forced into retirement due to a serious neck injury. He finished his career with 59 sacks, which still places him sixth on the Lions’ all-time list. He was named All-Pro three times (1981, 1983-84) and went to four Pro Bowls (1979, 1982-84).