The NFL preseason is more about player evaluation than scheme. Teams are notoriously bland in the preseason, not wanting to tip their hand to upcoming regular season opponents.
That's even more so the case when two teams playing in the preseason will see each other again during the regular season.
The Detroit Lions will play their second preseason game Thursday night in Cleveland, and will play the Browns again Week 6 of the regular season at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"That thought does come up," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "There are things that you feel like you like against a defensive scheme or an offensive scheme that you don't want to show.
"Over the course of the season you're going to show all those things anyway. The main thing is execution. You want guys communicating and executing well. You want to see players win, not schemes win."
Schwartz has been through this scenario two times before since becoming the head coach in 2009.
That first season in 2009, the Lions lost to the Browns in the preseason, 27-10, and then beat them, 38-37, in the regular season.
In 2010, the Lions beat Buffalo, 28-23, in the preseason, but lost the in regular season, 14-12.
"You want to see a player win a one-on-one pass rush," Schwartz said of what he's looking for Thursday night.
"You want to see a running back break a tackle. You want to see a wide receiver get open against man or a corner cover man. I think that's probably the biggest thing with preseason. The fact that we'll be playing them in regular season doesn't really change that philosophy."