August 15, 2010 by staff
Detroit Lions, A few hours from me this announcement, the Lions will begin their preseason schedule, and therefore the inevitable march towards the beginning of the 2010 season in the NFL.
Everyone has a different idea of what it means preseason games with them, but the general consensus is “nothing”, almost to the point where it has become cliché.
Although in a sense of team – the team certainly is not better or worse performance depending on the preseason – the preseason saying really means “nothing” is a bit reductionist.
The preseason is really about personal assessment. More than winning teams preseason games, it might be more appropriate to think of the “winners” and “losers” in terms of performance of individual players.
For the Detroit Lions, the best I could out of a preseason game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers is a clear distinction between a team of second and cut list.
Perhaps the biggest weakness of the Lions right now is the lack of depth. Of course, not look like much at the beginning of the season, but when you have a NFL team got through a whole season without injuries, let alone the Lions?
Do not you think about the depth until you see Vinny Ciurciu run on the field for an injured DeAndre Levy, Maurice Morris or Kevin Smith or Yahweh better. And now, if you’re like me, the scenes feel more than a little uncomfortable.
That’s why this spring is important. With few exceptions, the Lions starters are all set. Beyond that, there is much in limbo.
Lions’ roster is so full of question marks, is perfectly conceivable that a solid preseason game or two will make the difference between a player who is a play off the field and that the same player who was without work.
Caleb Campbell, who has been a bit of noise in training camp, is one example. He is considered a long shot to do list, yet has been running with the second team defense at times in camp.
Will his preseason performance result in it being a valuable backup, or an underdog story that fell just before?
Will undrafted rookie Randy Phillips continue to impress in game situations as it has done in training camp?
Will Aaron Brown show still has value to the team now that they have a high-end version of it in the best Yahweh?
Derrick Williams is a bust, or a receiver viable project capable of winning the slot WR room, or even a decent kick returner?
These players are all walking a fine line between important player and free agency newly discovered backup.
So do not watch the Lions preseason and think in the regular season. Not even fool yourself into believing that winning preseason carries a “winning attitude” or a “roll” in the regular season, because it is not true. That’s why you see someone go for it on fourth-and-16 at their own 20-yard line.
Instead, do what the coaches are doing.
Think about which of those guys bin bargains out there feels more comfortable with a jog in the field if the worst happens.
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