Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Lions Camp Watch
By Kevin Seifert
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Three thoughts as training camps open around the NFL:
One thing I'm certain of: We will get at least a glimpse of what the Detroit Lions intend to do with their tailback tandem of Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure, albeit a year late. Best (concussion) said earlier this summer that he expects to be cleared for contact in camp, and Leshoure recently tweeted his torn Achilles tendon is 100 percent.
We've assumed that Leshoure will get the traditional inside rushing attempts, with Best working more in the passing game and outside runs. But the truth is we don't know what offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has up his sleeve. It's time to find out.
One thing that might happen: We might actually get back to discussing Ndamukong Suh's performance, rather than his behavior, on the field. As we discussed in May, Suh's run as Public Enemy No. 1 was quickly eclipsed by the New Orleans Saints bounty story, as well as the Lions' own run of arrests.
Meanwhile, Suh did exactly what he needed to in order to begin restoring his professional reputation. With a healthy Nick Fairley providing another interior force, the stage is set for Suh to have an elite season.
One thing we won't see: The opening days of training camp are generally the most optimistic time of an average NFL season. Players are happy to get reacquainted, coaches are thrilled to begin full-pads workouts and fans haven't yet grown cynical about their team's chances to compete.
But something tells me the Lions won't be opening training camp later this week in a good mood. I'm guessing they will be more on the angry and irritable side. An embarrassing offseason climaxed Monday when cornerback Aaron Berry was released following his second arrest in a month. Far too many uncomfortable questions and storylines are circling this team for this to be the last full week of July.