There’s no debate that the upcoming 2023-24 NFL season is one of the most anticipated ever for Detroit Lions fans.
With a strong finish to last season and plenty of offseason buzz, it feels like this season could be where the Lions finally find postseason success.
Michigan online sportsbooks are listing the Lions as the NFC North favorite and a top NFC contender.
Luckily for Lions fans, the offseason is on the verge of winding down. They won’t have to wait long to get a first-hand look at this year’s squad.
Detroit announced its 10 training camp practices that will be open to fans this week.
Along with the schedule, there’s five key questions fans should be looking out for if they head to Allen Park.
Lions open practice training camp schedule
Included among practices open to public are joint practices with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here’s the 10 practices scheduled to be available to the public. Gates will open one hour prior to the start of practice.
- Saturday, July 29*: 8:30 a.m.
- Sunday, July 30: 8:30 a.m.
- Monday, July 31: 8:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 2**: 8:30 a.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 3: 8:30 a.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 5: 10:30 a.m.
Joint practice with New York Giants
- Thursday, Aug. 8*: 10:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 9: 10:30 a.m.
Joint practice with Jacksonville Jaguars
- Wednesday, Aug. 16*: 10:30 a.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 17: 10:30 a.m.
*Exclusive to Lions Loyal Members
**Exclusive to Early Renewal Lions Loyal Members
Five questions heading into Lions training camp
As training camp approaches, we spoke with John Maakaron of All Lions to discuss the five biggest questions for the Lions prior to the 2023-24 season.
What impact will Jameson Williams have?
The biggest story of the offseason has been the six-game suspension of receiver Jameson Williams. The second-year receiver from Alabama violated the NFL’s gambling policy.
Whether you agree with the severity of the suspension or not, it remains a reality.
With Williams unavailable for the first six games of the season, what kind of motivation will he show in training camp? Can he show growth after missing most of his rookie season while recovering from a torn ACL.
“The second-year wideout will be a focus for many of the supporters who want to observe the former No. 1 pick. After dealing with drops during the offseason workout program, Williams must start to become a reliable and consistent practice player, especially since he will not be available to work with Jared Goff the first six weeks of the season,” Maakaron said.
How will the Lions utilize their new backfield?
The Lions are going to have an entirely new backfield for 2023-24.
Detroit didn’t sign Jamaal Williams and traded away D’Andre Swift during the NFL Draft.
The Lions also selected Alabama rookie Jahmyr Gibbs No. 12 overall in the NFL Draft while signing David Montgomery from the Chicago Bears.
Montgomery is likely to be the primary ball carrier, but Gibbs could see a large role as a pass-catcher as well.
Detroit also has an interesting battle for the third spot between the likes of Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson and undrafted rookie Mohamed Ibrahim from Minnesota.
“Detroit’s new running backs coach, Scottie Montgomery, indicated he expected the running backs battle for the No. 3 spot to be fierce. Also, many want to observe and start to determine how the Lions could use new backs David Montgomery and Jahymr Gibbs. Could there be more two-back sets? Training camp will start to answer some of those questions,” Maakaron said.
How improved will the defense be with secondary additions?
The Detroit Lions had to address their defense in the offseason, especially their 30th-ranked pass defense.
Detroit made some splashes in free agency by signing safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson as well as cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton.
The Lions also drafted Alabama safety Brian Branch in the NFL Draft to provide some depth and flexibility withing the secondary.
How strong will the new secondary look? How much will an improved secondary help the overall defense?
“The secondary is confident and ready to showcase they are not the same unit that struggled mightily in 2022. The addition of several new defensive backs has given the defense more confidence as a whole. C.J. Gardner-Johnson needs a camera crew to monitor his every move, as the veteran has brought with him a level of confidence that has not been seen for a long, long time,” Maakaron said.”
What will the offensive line depth chart look like?
Arguably the greatest strength of the Detroit Lions is their offensive line.
The Lions line helped the team have the fourth-ranked offense in total yards, and fifth-ranked offense in points.
Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell have the tackle spots locked down. Frank Ragnow is set at center along with Jonah Jackson at guard. The final spot will be a battle between Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was injured all last season, and Graham Glasgow, the former Lion that returns this season after a stint with the Denver Broncos.
Detroit also drafted Colby Sorsdal in the NFL Draft to help provide depth along the line. With Ragnow still dealing with a toe injury, the Lions may need to mix and match along the line throughout the season.
“Training camp will provide the opportunity to see the battle for the starting right guard spot, as Graham Glasgow and Halapoulivaati Vaitai look to secure the starting job. The depth along the offensive line could be a concern, as the reserves did not have the best offseason workouts during the portion that was open to the media. Rookie Colby Sorsdal will have his first opportunity to showcase why the team invested a draft pick to add him to the roster,” Maakaron said.
Can Jared Goff maintain his level of play?
Jared Goff had a breakout season as a Lion in 2022-23.
While some may have written the former No. 1 pick off, he bounced back with 4,438 passing yards and 29 touchdowns last season. More importantly he had just seven interceptions.
Goff’s consistent play was a big reason the Lions finished with a winning record.
Now, with the pressure on to succeed, will Goff be able to maintain his high level of play?
This year is a big season for the eight-year quarterback, who has just two years remaining on his contract. A strong year with postseason success could lead Goff to another big contract and land him in Detroit for the foreseeable future.
“Training camp will allow onlookers the chance to see what Goff can bring to the table in 2023. It’s a big season for the organization and the veteran signal-caller, as a playoff win could propel the 28-year-old into the starting job for the next several seasons. It will be imperative for the offense to compete at a high level against a defense that has plenty of ball-hawking defensive backs,” Maakaron said.