Lions training camp preview: All eyes on Jahmyr Gibbs; Have defensive issues been resolved?

detroit lions The players may be the betting favorites to win the NFC North, but they’re not behaving that way right now. Head coach Dan Campbell has stressed to his staff and players that they are yet to fully live up to those expectations.

“All I told him was about the job,” Campbell said before the team’s first practice session on Sunday. “It is about work and I have said from day one that it will always be the same message. It’s about work. that’s what we do. You have to start earning your entitlement every year. It doesn’t matter what the players are, what the coach is, what the expectations are, where you were, where you are going.”

Still, the Lions’ readiness to capture the divisional crown will come under scrutiny this preseason – along with many other questions to be answered. See below for more of them.

Have the defensive issues been resolved (especially in the backfield?)

Part of the Lions’ confidence going into 2023 is the fact that they weren’t as far away as many thought last season. The offense flourished under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, averaging 35 points per game to start the season.

The problem was that the defense had allowed 35.1. seriously.

Much of this had to do with the poor play of the defensive backfield, which gave up the most passing yards in the league to Detroit. They made a change around Halloween, firing secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant, and to their credit, it seems to be helping. The defense stuttered in the second half of the season, helping the Lions finish the season 8–2. They missed the playoffs and interrupted a winning season by rescuing an opponent. green Bay Packers Also in the off-season in a Week 18 loss at Lambeau.

After that, the Lions’ front office went straight to work. they signed cornerback Emmanuel Mosley And cam sutton before signing off CJ Gardner-Johnsonwho was fresh off a Super Bowl performance philadelphia eagles, It seemed that Detroit was determined not to let their pass defense be the reason for their slow start to the season, where they are now favorites.

Then, on Monday, potential disaster struck. Gardner-Johnson went down with a non-contact right foot injury and was carried off the field after just the second day of camp. Reports say Gardner-Johnson is now working out on a daily basis and has avoided major injury, but it’s not ideal for the vet to miss valuable replays with his new team. It came after head coach Dan Campbell announced that Moseley would start camp on the physically unable to perform list after being unable to participate for medical reasons on Sunday.

CJ Gardner-Johnson: ‘Lions’ talent slightly better than Eagles’

If the Lions don’t want to be “the Lions” in their off-season, they’ll need all the moves they made in the off-season to break out and stay sane.

can do Jared Goff Maintain your playing level of 2022?

Goff had the third best season of his career in 2022, throwing for 4,438 yards and 29 touchdowns against only seven interceptions, the last of which was a career low. He led the team to incredible levels of production and a top-five offensive line. Detroit averaged 380 yards per game, which was fourth in the league. He averaged 26.6 points, good for fifth place.

Much of this also concerned coordinator Ben Johnson, who caught the head coach’s interest shortly after the season, but decided to stay with the Lions, turning down all further interviews after interviews with Indianapolis and Houston.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on here, a lot of great people, coaches, players,” Johnson said in a podcast on the team’s official website. “I love the friendly staff, everyone there. I love players. I love going to work every day. Coach Campbell is incredible. So at the end of the day, it only made sense to talk to my family. Got it, don’t waste a good thing.

With the passing of another year, players will no doubt benefit from that consistency, and none will benefit as much as Goff himself.

“It’s really nice to come out this week and even at OTAs and say, ‘Okay, we know the formations, we know the basics,’ and it’s really nice to be able to say, ‘Okay, what are our adjustments, what can we get better at? What are the things we really failed to do last year?’ And find ways to get better,” Goff said last Sunday.

In short, it looks like the Lions’ offense is ready to pick up where it left off and that could result in Goff entering another career year.

who is leading jameson williams has been suspended?

Right Before Training Camp, Team Traded For Wide Receiver denzel mimsA big-bodied receiver not exactly made for it jet In three seasons with the team. 6 feet 3 inches east boiler The product was reportedly brought in to give the team an ‘X’ receiver as they waited for Williams to be suspended.

Amon-Ra St. Brown was the Lions’ top contender in receiving games last year, but the St. Brown thrives more outside the slot. And while he manages a diverse root tree, he shouldn’t be expected to fill that outsized role. The good news is that Mims has impressed the coaching staff in his short time with the Lions. A coach told me that Mims “has wheels” and he made some plays on defense during the first day of practice.

Adding Mims should balance out Detroit’s offense until Williams comes back and moves forward, and for the time being, seeing Mims in training camp feels like a gift to Lions fans.

Will Gibbs justify his design stance?

run back Jahmir Gibbs Notable numbers in the receiving game. A source told me to think of him as more of a weapon than a running back. That would go a long way in explaining the Lions picking the Alabama product No. 12 overall. Gibbs should also bring some versatility and add an interesting wrinkle to Johnson’s system as Detroit looks to live up to the expectations placed on him this offseason.

Carmen Vitali covers NFC North for Fox Sports. Carmen’s previous stops were on The Draft Network and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent six seasons with the Bucs, including 2020, adding the title of Super Bowl champion (and boat parade participant) to his resume. You can follow Carmen on Twitter @CarmieV,

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