A week from now, the anticipation will be high. The attention will be more focused. The preseason will finally be over and the regular season right around the corner.
But for now, the preseason still remains -- and so does the preseason version of the Lions Mailbag on Sundays. To submit a question for the mailbag, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet with the hashtag #LionsMailbag or drop a note or message on my public Facebook page.
Now, on to your questions:
#LionsMailbag which do you think is more likely to happen. Slay snagging 5 INT this year or Broyles ending the season as our no 2 receiver?
— Those Detroit Guys (@ThoseDetGUYS) August 22, 2014
@mikerothstein: This is kind of an easy question. Darius Slay has a much stronger chance of grabbing five interceptions this season than Ryan Broyles does of ending the season as the No. 2 receiver on the Lions. The only way the Broyles scenario occurs is if there is an injury to Golden Tate or Calvin Johnson -- and then Kris Durham or Kevin Ogletree doesn't pass him. Meanwhile, Slay is going to be a starter and should have a good shot at picking off a bunch of passes if he can take advantage of it.
— Mike Hodges (@Lionsfan1960) August 22, 2014
@mikerothstein: That is what the Lions are certainly hoping for after they invested so much in improving the offense. For the most part this preseason, Matthew Stafford has been sharp. Even when he looked shaky, as he did early on Friday night against Jacksonville, he rebounded well, finishing his day by completing 9 of his last 11 passes. He has chemistry with Golden Tate along with the comfort with Calvin Johnson and even Brandon Pettigrew. Stafford has a lot of options and should be able to put up a bunch of points in this offense. Whether it leads to wins will depend on penalties, turnovers and how the defense plays.
— Andy Mahler (@Andrew_Mahler) August 19, 2014
@mikerothstein: In a word, no. At least not before the season starts. If Detroit sees enough from Caraun Reid and the team stays healthy at the position throughout the first half of the season, it is possible the Lions might flirt with the idea, depending how Nick Fairley plays. Right now, he's all potential without the consistent production, so it is tough to really see how much Detroit might be able to get for him if the Lions wanted to move him. He'd surely draw something because of that talent, but the Lions would likely be better off keeping him for the entire season.
Shelton from Facebook asks: This almost has nothing to do with the play of the Lions but when do you think we will see the black jerseys again or any kind of uniform change....don't get me wrong, I love Honolulu blue and sliver to death but I believe we could do more with our beautiful color scheme
@mikerothstein: It sounds like your hope for throwbacks won't happen during the 2014 season from people within the organization that I have spoken with. As for the black jerseys, I don't anticipate those coming back any time soon. They were mostly used with a different coaching staff and different general manager (Matt Millen). This new regime with Martin Mayhew and now Jim Caldwell have shown no indication they will bring them back. I've learned to never say never, but I wouldn't expect any major jersey changes or alternate jerseys soon.
Steven from Boston (via Facebook) asks: Last year, in my FFL, I got to the finals with a combination of Stafford, Calvin (Johnson), and Reggie Bush [and no, I didn't pick them]. My question is this: This year if I can only pick one, and avoid the heavy one team loading- who should it be? Will Calvin have a near 2k year again? Will stafford eclipse 5k again? If you could hitch a wagon to any 1 Lions player, who would it be?
@mikerothstein: Good question. It should be a choice between Johnson and Stafford, in my opinion, since Bush's carries will likely go down but his receptions could go up. Still, Johnson and Stafford should be more valuable. Personally, I think Stafford will have a big fantasy season because of all the options at his disposal, including Bush and Johnson along with Joique Bell, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria. His numbers should be massive. Due to all those options, it wouldn't surprise me if Johnson's catches dropped but his yards actually increased. There's a chance, if Detroit operates correctly, that Johnson could see more single coverage looks or softer double-teams than he has in years past. That should lead to more opportunities for plays for him. So the short answer -- you can't go wrong with either one. Johnson is the more reliable option. Stafford may have more upside to have a game-breaking season.