The Lions' special teams unit is perhaps the one with the most intrigue this training camp, as just about the entire unit (aside from Pro Bowl long snapper Don Muhlbach, who is unopposed at his position) is being turned over.
At kicker, we have veteran and six-time All-Pro David Akers facing off against some guy from the Norwegian Internet.
Normally, that would be a first-round knockout, but Akers is coming off the worst season of his career and is currently rehabbing an injury. Rugland took the opportunity in minicamp to turn heads by booming everything his left foot touched through a set of uprights.
As a result, we now have a legitimate roster battle, not a sideshow. Akers is still the favorite, but that's only based on his history. All else being equal, Rugland is winning the offseason so far in a shutout.
This is easily the least intriguing battle in the special teams arena right now. The Lions signed Clingan over the winter off the street. Then, they spent a fifth-round draft pick on Martin.
To an extent, performance doesn't even matter. The Lions have invested in Martin, and they'll stick with him because that's how the league works. It would be humiliating for the team to spend a fifth-round draft pick on a guy who was beat out by a real estate consultant.
The only way Martin doesn't win this battle is if his kicking leg falls off midway through training camp.
By the end of training camp, the Lions might run about 15 players through looking for a return man.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has reported undrafted free agent running back Steven Miller of Appalachian State will get the first crack at the return job, but that's the first crack, not the biggest or the only one.
Just about every offensive skill position player (and some defensive backs) is in play for a return role, and the Lions should try out as many as they can before making a decision. It's hard to post a depth chart for this, because the Lions are going to be mostly trying out players who haven't returned kicks with any regularity.
Even Miller, the closest thing there is to a supposed front-runner, returned only three kicks and one punt over his entire college career. After him, there's Joique Bell, Ryan Broyles, Micheal Spurlock, Patrick Edwards, Reggie Bush, Mike Thomas, Corey Fuller, Theo Riddick...
There are lots of options here, OK? In this case, it's best just to sit back and let things play out. We'll know a lot more in a month than we do today.