REPORT DATES: July 23rd (rookies), July 26th (veterans)
SITE: Detroit Lions Training Facility, Allen Park, MI
CAMP OBJECTIVES: Jim Schwartz will probably be welcoming the return of a structured environment after the fiery head coach had to endure four of his players being arrested a total of seven times in the offseason, with projected starting cornerback Aaron Berry recently being released after running afoul of the law twice in the past month. His departure sets up a wide-open competition to earn that spot, with free-agent acquisition Jacob Lacey, returnee Alphonso Smith and rookie third-round pick Dwight Bentley entering camp as the leading candidates. Strong safety Amari Spievey will also have a fight on his hands to keep his starting job following a shaky 2011 season, with Detroit re-signing veteran Erik Coleman and bringing in experienced pro Sean Jones as possible alternatives. Shoring up a secondary that was lit up routinely at the end of last season and creating more balance to a pass-heavy offense will be the Lions' two main goals of this camp. The team's two best running backs, Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure, missed most or all of last year with a concussion and Achilles tear, respectively, and both will be closely monitored throughout the preseason. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Broyles, a second-round selection in April's draft, also figures to be brought along slowly as he recovers from a torn ACL sustained in November, but it's hoped that he'll be able to push Nate Burleson for time in the slot at some point.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 10 - vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 - at Baltimore, 8 p.m. Aug. 25 - at Oakland, 7 p.m. Aug. 30 - vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.