The Detroit Lions open their 2008 training camp in Allen Park, MI with another new slogan: “Believe in Now.” But the fact of the matter is that not many Detroit Lions fans can trust the team. Especially not with Matt Millen running the show. Still, the Lions have a shot to be a little better this year. They go into their 2008 training camp with more veterans in the secondary and a more basic offense that fits with Rod Marinelli’s philosophies as a head coach.
Here is what to watch for in the 2008 Detroit Lions Training Camp:
Dizon to sign?
2nd round pick Jordon Dizon of Colorado is a potential starter at either middle linebacker or outside linebacker. But there’s only one problem: he still hasn’t signed. Detroit needs to sign him ASAP and start tutoring him on the fine points of the cover two because Paris Lenon won’t cut it in the middle of the defense any more for the Lions.
Bodden to step up?
Leigh Bodden came over from the Cleveland Browns in the Shaun Rogers deal and got a 4-year extension already. He is undersized but a lot of people in the NFL have raved about his overall talents and big-play ability. Do the Lions finally have a quality no. 1 cornerback? They’d better hope so.
Offense taking shape
Jim Coletto talks a good game as new Detroit Lions offensive coordinator but this training camp is big for him as he attempts to put in a new offensive style. Coletto vows to run the ball more, which should be easy to do because the Lions didn’t run the ball at all last year.
But Coletto doesn’t have a whole lot of experience as an offensive coordinator, and the Lions don’t have a great offensive line to run the ball either. Rookies Gosder Cherilus at right tackle and Kevin Smith at running back will have to play big for the Lions to have a good running game in 2008.
Pass rush a concern
Rod Marinelli is a defensive line coach at heart but the Lions are short on talent in that area. Cory Redding is a good defensive tackle and Dewayne White is a good all-around defensive end. But the Lions need to generate a pass rush badly or their defense will get torched.
Can last year’s second-round pick Ikaika Alama-Francis be molded into a good pass rusher by Marinelli for the Detroit Lions in training camp this year? Hopefully, because there aren’t too many other players who can step up and provide speed off the edge in the pass-rushing game.
Cliff Avril of Purdue is a rookie with some potential but he lacks size. The Lions need to get good play out of this unit or it could be a long year on defense.