Dec. 16, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) hands off to running back Mikel Leshoure (25) during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Scanning the Savanna: Detroit Lions News from Around the Web

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If Detroit Lions’ Running Backs Contribute, Team Could Resemble 2009 New Orleans Saints
Max DeMara –

It’s been the major argument for the last four years. The Detroit Lions need more production out of their running game. With Matthew Stafford now locked up by a new contract extension and Calvin Johnson without a top name running mate, that notion has never been more true.

That’s why this season more than any other, the pressure will be on a trio of running backs to help out their bigger named offensive teammates. Mikel Leshoure, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell each need to deliver in their own unique roles to take the heat off Stafford and Johnson. The Lions can resemble the 2009 New Orleans Saints, if only they’re able to replicate the contributions Pierre Thomas, Bush and Mike Bell made during that season.

NFC North getting expensive
John Clayton –

The NFC North, known forever as the Black and Blue Division, turned green this offseason.

Contract extensions for quarterbacks currently have the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers with the two highest payrolls in the NFL. Matthew Stafford received a $27.5 million signing bonus and a $4 million base salary. That took the Lions’ payroll to $155.9 million just counting the top 51 players on the roster. They have $62.3 million alone in signing bonuses for Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh.

The 5 Biggest Storylines Heading into Detroit Lions Training Camp
Dean Holden – Bleacher Report

After a lengthy period of NFL inactivity, training camps are just around the corner, marking the official beginning of the NFL preseason.

From the end of July to the beginning of February, the NFL is a constant source of intrigue and news, and the first thing we’re going to see play out is the answers to the questions surrounding each team all summer.

While the Detroit Lions’ offseason hasn’t exactly been the most exciting and full of intrigue, there are still very important storylines to follow.

Lions QB Matthew Stafford: ‘We have to find a way to be more explosive in the run game’
Detroit Free Press

But even Stafford admitted the Lions can’t win if he’s throwing that many passes.

“No, I don’t think so,” Stafford told the NFL Network’s “NFL AM” this past week. “We proved that last year. A lot of the time, we were throwing the ball because of circumstance; we were behind in games late in the game, and it’s tough to justify handing the ball off a lot and trying to get back into it.”

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