5 Things to Watch in Detroit Lions Preseason Opener

5 Things to Watch in Detroit Lions Preseason Opener

Brandon Pettigrew Lions
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The Detroit Lions will hit the field for their first exhibition game on Saturday against the Cleveland Browns. It will also be the team's first game under new head coach Jim Caldwell and his new coaching staff. Here are five things to watch for the Lions during their 2014 preseason opener.

5. The Battle at Right Tackle

Corey Hilliard Lions
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5. The Battle at Right Tackle

Corey Hilliard Lions
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Both Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle will get significant reps tonight as the Lions try to decide who will be their starting right tackle. Cleveland boasts a solid set of pass rushers in Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo, giving both Hilliard and Waddle an opportunity to prove themselves against a solid group of players.

4. Return Coverage

Travis Benjamin Browns
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4. Return Coverage

Travis Benjamin Browns
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With many backups in training camp trying to make an impression on special teams, there couldn't be a better test in the preseason opener than Cleveland's Travis Benjamin. Benjamin is one of the game's most explosive return men who is capable of scoring every time he touches the ball.

3. The Third Receiver Position

Kevin Ogletree Lions
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3. The Third Receiver Position

Kevin Ogletree Lions
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With Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate firmly entrenched as starters, the third receiver position is still up for grabs. Kevin Ogletree is the favorite right now with Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham and Jeremy Ross also competing for the job. These receivers will get a stiff test tonight as they will face Cleveland corners Buster Skrine and Justin Gilbert, two young and very talented players.

2. Containing Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Browns
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2. Containing Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Browns
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After only facing one true mobile QB last year (Robert Griffin III), the Lions defense will have to contain the unpredictable Johnny Manziel. Facing Manziel will give the Lions a good early test, especially considering that the Lions will face another dual-threat QB in Carolina's Cam Newton early in the regular season.

1. The Cornerback Position

Jonte Green Lions
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1. The Cornerback Position

Jonte Green Lions
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The cornerback position is still considered to be a major weakness for the Lions and a good test against several veteran Browns receivers can somewhat determine if that is still true. In Josh Gordon, Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins and former Detroit Lion Nate Burleson, the Browns have several veteran receivers who know how to play the game. Detroit's corners will get a good test tonight.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google+.


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