It has been an eventful offseason for the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, that’s because of several arrests. However, now we can get back to paying attention to Detroit’s team on the field. Today, the Detroit Lions have opened up their training camp. Now, they haven’t started practice yet. They don’t do that until Friday. Additionally, training camp isn’t terribly exciting all that often, unless you have, for example, a highly drafted rookie quarterback you want to get a look at, like when Matthew Stafford was entering his first camp. That being said, there are still some interesting topics of note that you may want to pay attention to between now and the start of the regular season.
We know that Cliff Avril is holding out because he didn’t get a long term contract. However, that is not a surprise, and for now that isn’t an issue. I will be interested to see when, and if, he shows up to camp, and more importantly how he looks in action in terms of being in shape.
The running game is also worth watching, mostly in terms of health. Mikel Leshoure went out with an Achilles injury early last offseason, and has yet to play a down for the Lions. Of course, he is also suspended for the first two games of the season, but I digress. Meanwhile, there are still concerns about Jahvid Best’s concussion issues. As of right now, he has not yet been cleared for contact. That is a concern. He should be cleared at some point during training camp, and hopefully he can stay healthy this season. The Lions need Leshoure and Best.
There are also questions surrounding the offensive line, namely in regards to Riley Reiff. He fell to them in the first round, and he has the talent to start right away. He should be starting, but where will it be? Will Jeff Backus or Gosder Cherilus get moved to guard? Or will Reiff start as a guard? Regardless, I think Stephen Peterman’s days as a starter are over.
Lastly, there are the concerns about the secondary. The Lions didn’t wait for the legal system to play out before cutting Aaron Berry. They already had questions before losing Berry. Eric Wright left in the offseason. This is an area of concern. Louis Delmas staying healthy is important. How much will Jacob Lacey and Bill Bentley be able to help? Detroit likely isn’t going to be as good in the secondary this season as last season, and they weren’t all that good last year. Maybe somebody surprising will step up. We can only hope.
The Lions don’t have any real big questions or concerns this offseason. This is a talented team that, if they stay healthy, should contend for the postseason again. Detroit’s first preseason game is August 10 against the Cleveland Browns. That’s when things get really exciting. For now, at least the Lions are on the field once more.