Joe Lombardi made it sound pretty simple on Thursday when he was asked what he wanted to see from his offense come Saturday’s preseason opener vs. Cleveland.
“Oh, move the ball and score points and protect the football,” he said with a smile.
But seriously, this offense has a lot of weapons and Lombardi said he most wants to see how flexible his guys can be.
“If we’ve got to get in 22 personnel and pound the ball to win the game in four-minute offense, we want to be able to do that,” he said. “We also have the weapons to spread them out and throw the ball around a little bit. So it’s flexibility. Doing whatever it takes to win the game.”
It’s that mindset that made the Lions go out and sign a player like fullback
On paper this offense appears to have the ability to pound the ball behind a fullback, play a lot of two tight end sets and even spread defenses out with three-receiver sets. It's versatile.
“They’ve had a lot of success here (on offense), so we’ve certainly kept some continuity with some of the terminology and some of the principle they’ve run here in the past, so you just try to mix a little bit of old with a little bit of the new," Lombardi said.
It's the new that fans will be eager to see on Saturday.
LIONS SIGN CB DRAYTON FLORENCE
It was around this time last year the Lions signed veteran free-agent cornerback
They’re hoping lightning strikes twice with the signing of veteran Drayton Florence on Thursday.
Florence returns to Detroit after playing in eight games here in 2012. He missed the other eight that season with a broken forearm.
He played in Carolina last season and made five starts and intercepted two passes.
“Obviously, he’s a guy that has experience and background so he just gives us another veteran player that can come in and bolster our roster and make it even a little more competitive,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of the signing.
“It’s a competitive situation now, but (it will be) even more so.”
It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of
The undrafted tackle out of Kansas State stands 6-foot-9 and weighs in at 325 pounds.
“He impresses me when he walks in the building,” Lombardi said.
“We were just talking about him earlier today,” Lombardi said. “He’s got these long arms that really helps him in pass protection and he’s coming along on his run blocking. He’s a guy we’re excited about.”
Caldwell said he’s had conversations about sitting some veterans on Saturday and has even come to a decision on some, but he isn’t ready to share those names just yet.
“We’ve talked about some situations, and we are considering some,” he said.
“The positions, I’m not going to name – I know the follow up question. But nevertheless, we’re looking at it and we’ll wait until we get a little closer to game time and see how it shakes out. Every day is a little bit different, you know we had a couple of guys get a little banged up. So we’ll go in and reassess ourselves and see where we are.”
Caldwell said Johnson had an excused absence for personal reasons.