The Lions Will Be a Different Team Once the Regular Season Begins

Ross MaghielseCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2009

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 15: Quarterback Daunte Culpepper #11 of the Detroit Lions dives for a first down against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field on August 15, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

A common perception is that the NFL preseason is irrelevant. This could not be more true.


Preseason games don't matter.


We've all heard that statement echoed time and time again by media members and former NFL players.


Yet every August, people start talking about “what to look for” during the four games of irrelevance, and the NFL Live crew starts breaking down offensive schemes and position battles.


Take this question for example: How does Matthew Stafford look in the Lions' offense?


Unless you've been to a Lions practice, specifically the portion of the Lions practice which is closed to fans and limited to the media, you haven't seen the Lions' offense.


Through two games of the preseason, Scott Linehan has run the most basic offense possible. He will continue to do so for the final game, as well. Same goes for Gunter Cunningham on the defensive side of the ball.


Jim Schwartz doesn't want any useful film to be available on his team for the first regular season game.


Schwartz told media members that his main interest during the preseason was to evaluate his team's basic football skills: speed, strength, composure, and so on.


All the real preparation for opening week against the New Orleans Saints is happening on the practice field, not during preseason games.


It was announced that Daunte Culpepper will “begin” Detroit's preseason game against Indianapolis today. Schwartz also announced a few other players who will “begin” the game. The coaching staff still insists there is no depth chart and no starters.




Believe me, there is a very clear idea of who will be starting, who will be rotating in throughout the games, and who will be wearing baseball caps on the sidelines for the Lions this season.


What is still at stake during the remaining two weeks of preseason is the final eight or so roster spots. Competition is still underway for the final two wide receiver spots, along with the linebacker core and secondary.


Something else to keep an eye on—through a somewhat unreliable source, a rumor has surfaced that the Lions might bring in former wide receiver and second overall draft pick Charles Rogers for a workout. That, of course, is when and if Rogers clears any pending legal issues and has his fitness back under control.


Rogers was recently timed running the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. Coming out of Michigan State, his time was at 4.3.