Thursday, August 15, 2013
Detroit Lions: Preseason Week 2
By Kevin Seifert
In which we look ahead to the Detroit Lions' second preseason game. (Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com previewed the Chicago Bears' matchup against the San Diego Chargers.)
Opponent: Cleveland Browns
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Personnel notes: Most starters are expected to play into the second quarter. … Safety Louis Delmas won't play Thursday night and might not take the field before the regular-season opener. That seems to make sense given his chronic knee issues, but it also leaves us unable to pre-judge his capacity of making it through the season and playing at a high level. … It will be fun to see how rookie place-kicker Havard Rugland reacts to 1) the increased attention his 2-for-2 performance last week earned him and 2) kicking outdoors on grass. … I didn't see anything last week to suggest there is a serious competition for the strongside linebacker spot currently held by veteran Ashlee Palmer. We'll see if that changes. … Although the Lions haven't established a firm deadline for crowning a winner in their competitions at right guard and right tackle, it would be nice to see enough progress Thursday so that the presumptive regular-season Week 1 group could work together for an extended period in Week 3 of the preseason.
Of interest: Although there is plenty of excitement surrounding the Lions' offense, as usual, we still have some important questions to get answered. That seems like as good of a focus as any this week. We've already noted the offensive line. It's also worth pointing out that all three of quarterback Matthew Stafford's completions last week went to receiver Calvin Johnson. Patrick Edwards didn't have a catch in the preseason opener, and either he or another young receiver -- Matt Willis? -- will have to step up in the first-team environment to provide some production. The tight end situation also seems more unsettled than it initially appeared. Behind starter Brandon Pettigrew, are we positive that Tony Scheffler is a lock to make the team? Or could some strong preseason performances by rookies Michael Williams and Joseph Fauria give the Lions some previously unexpected roster flexibility?