Curran: What to Watch for as Lions Preseason Begins

The NFL Preseason is officially underway and the Detroit Lions have a lot of decisions to make before the Monday night home opener.

The Lions have six running backs on the unofficial depth chart that each have a hearsay to earn some playing time.

The off-season signing of LeGarrette Blount helps the Lions on short yardage situations and will be a huge factor in the redzone, as he has been in the past.

Kerryon Johnson, the Lions second round draft pick from Auburn University, has already wowed coaches at training camps as people have compared him to a ‘real-life video game player.’

The Lions’ career leader in nearly every passing category, Matt Stafford enters his 10th season with Hall of Fame aspirations.

Last year Stafford’s 5-year, $27 million contract had him at the highest paid QB in the league and since has been passed by three others (Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo).

The Lions will need a large chunk of assistance in the receiving category as Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate will have to fill the leadership roles for their young receiving core.

But where the Lions bright spot is this year is in the defense and they may take the ‘defending the den’ to the next level this season.

Darius Slay Jr. is coming off another stellar season after tying for the league lead in interceptions with eight. He was a 2018 Pro Bowl selection and the Lions have high hopes for him this season.

He will be next to his partner in crime, Glover Quin who is the captain of the defense and has a lot of experience.

Quin has an opportunity to make young names like Teez Tabor, Miles Killebrew, Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson elite defenders in the game.

The Lions defensive line will feature Ezekiel Ansah, who we have seen in the past and he is continuing a battle with injury but is now practicing at camp, A’Shawn Robinson and Ricky Jean Francois, recently signed from the Patriots.

The linebacker group is a healthy mix of young and vets as Jarrad Davis enters his second season lined up next to Devon Kennard and Christian Jones.

Kennard is a player that Patricia can help build a team around in a great leader and someone who is willing to put forth the effort.

The Lions have a lot of potent weapons this season and they undoubtedly have a good shot at making it far into the playoffs.

A lot of pieces will have to come together but the pride is known to stick together.