Its that time of year again. The heat is starting to break, the kids are back at school, and football is on the horizon. Lions football is back, officially tonight, as they take on the Patriots in their first sanctioned game in about six months. There has been quite a bit of change in the Lions organization this past off-season and I dont want to write a preview for every single preseason game, so here are the top three things that I am going to look for this whole preseason.
- Darrell Bevell’s Offense
This is the first time we will get to see what Bevell really looks like calling plays. Obviously we wont be able to see the full playbook during exhibitions, nor should we, but hopefully we will see something that resembles those championship Seattle teams. Pounding the rock then stretching the field on early downs with play action. Again, I expect the play calling to be very vanilla but we should still see the changes in the offensive foundation
2. Who Plays
Its no secret that the Lions are protective of their players in the preseason (Stafford only playing 24 snaps last preseason). But, considering how flat the team came out last year, will Patricia allow his guys to get extra live reps to be a little bit sharper? Personally, I think he will but they will run very low risk plays on offense. Defensively, is a little different. They are pretty banged up on the line right now and chemistry is a pretty major factor for that unit. This will probably be something they try to build during practices. This line is talented enough though to where there shouldnt be too much of a rough patch when everyone gets healthy. Health, above all, is the main thing that should be monitored during the preseason. How many teams have had their seasons derailed because of an injury in the preseason? The Lions wont be the greatest team in the world but it would be really shitty to have to punt on an entire season in August.
3. Ty Johnson
I am very high on the 6th round running back out of Maryland. He has break out speed and can be an absolute problem for opposing defenses. With Riddick gone, Kerryon Johnson is expected to take the bulk of his receptions, but dont be surprised if we see Ty Johnson take his fair share. He should get extended looks in the preseason too. Expect to see him all over the field. He should be in the back field, in the slot, returning kick/punts, or just doing anything to get live reps and showing off his speed