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Jaguars at Lions Preseason Preview: The Dress Rehearsal

Tonight when the Jag’s come into town, we get to see our first glimpse of what to expect from the Detroit Lions on both sides of the ball. The 3rd game of the preseason is what we all look forward to each year. It’s fun to watch the position battles, but most casual fans are watching NFL games to see the star players not a lot of the practice squad guys. There are quite a lot of interesting scenarios to look forward to during tonight’s game, let’s take a peak.

Calvin Johnson makes his debut
We get to see Megatron in action for the first time, along side his new counter part, Golden Tate. However it is time that we forgot about Johnson dunking the ball after touchdowns any longer. “He’s not getting into my pockets” Johnson said during an interview, in response to the new fines issued out for players that dunk the goal through the goal posts in celebration. I think we can all assume that Calvin will not be featured in abundance this evening, but he is also needs to work off some of the rust and get back into the flow of game speed. While you want to be careful with his knee, you also can’t wait until regular season to get him on the field.

Nick Fairley.
In case you missed it earlier in the week, Fairley was demoted to the 2nd team due to his weight gain. With that said, there are two things I am looking for out of Nick. He should be very dominant and assertive against the backups, especially if he wants to be included in the conversation of perennial defensive tackles in the National Football League. Nick is in the proverbial dog house with Jim Caldwell for his inability to stay in shape, if we wants to start righting those wrongs. When camp started Fairley weighed in at 308 pounds, he is now up to 315. When asked about the situation he responded by saying “things got not out of control, but I would say my eating habits got out of the way in the last two weeks.” All of the coaching staff and players are hoping that Nick can get this under control and reach his full potential. Even Ndamukong Suh chimed in with support. “I always want him to be the best player he can be. I haven’t said this a lot or to many people, more or less, but Nick is more athletically gifted than me and he has an opportunity to be better than me and that’s what I want to see out of him,” Suh said.

Offensive and Defensive Playbooks opening up
While you don’t want to give away all of your tricks in the playbook, we should most certainly see the coaching staff dive deeper into their playbooks and give us some different looks. Calvin will be moving around all over the field, there are a plethora of running backs that can be inserted and we could see Tate, Ebron, Broyles and Johnson on the field together for the first time, which could make for huge holes for whomever Joe Lombardi has in the backfield during that time.

While the Lions did take a loss in last weeks preseason game, there were a handful of Raiders starters playing about guys that won’t even touch the field during the regular season for the Lions. We all say that preseason doesn’t matter, however this is where it starts to “matter” a little more, see where adjustments need to be made, where areas need work and what needs to be cleaned up before games starting putting tallies in the win and loss columns. Tonight is the night where we get to witness how well the Lions will, “defend the den.”

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Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is Back

On Deck: Tigers at Twins