Insider warns Detroit Lions fans about the preseason

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions greets fans after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions greets fans after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The preseason is a time for hope for fans of the Detroit Lions. But how seriously should they be taking the outcomes of these exhibitions?

For fans of the Detroit Lions and football in general, the preseason is a welcomed sight. Admittedly, this isn’t the regular season and the games don’t count, but it’s actually football being played. It’s also a debut for rookies and newly signed free agents. It’s an exciting time.

But is the preseason an indicator of things to come? Last year, the Lions lost three of their four preseason games and often looked flat. They continued that poor play in Week One, losing to an inferior New York Jets team 48-17 at Ford Field in the home opener. Detroit would go on to lose three of their first four games of the regular season, ending the year in the basement of the NFC North with a 6-10 record.

This offseason has been full of optimism as the Lions added a new draft class, hired a new offensive coordinator, and signed several big names in free agency. Yet, through the first week of training camp, the Lions defense has been decimated with injuries and absences. While the other side of the ball is going through the growing pains of learning a new offensive scheme.

With the Lions’ first preseason game kicking off this upcoming Thursday night against the New England Patriots, just how much should fans take away from this initial exhibition? Here’s how Lions’ insider for the Detroit Free Press, Dave Birkett, recently responded to a mailbag question about the preseason being an indicator of regular-season success.

"” … I wouldn’t read too much into what happens in the preseason, especially in games. The Lions are installing a new offense, half their starting defense has yet to practice and there’s sure to be bumps ahead. Enjoy the preseason for what it is: A chance for vets to shake off rust, young players to develop their skills and coaches to get a feel for their roster.”"

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Last year at this time the Detroit Lions had several unanswered questions to ponder. Many of them circled around first-year head coach Matt Patricia. But the Lions were also coming off a 9-7 record, having had three winning-seasons in the prior four years. Yet, the preseason indicated it could be a rocky start for Patricia and it was. Entering this season, there seem to be just as many lingering questions. Let’s see what the preseason tells us … and if we should listen.