The torch of leadership is being passed through attrition and addition to the Lions' roster, and
There was a moment during the second half of the Lions' opening preseason game against the Jets when Suh schooled a young lineman on the sideline. It was a sign of Suh's growing role on the defense, and Suh talked about it for this week's Monday Countdown.
There's also a look at some players who may have helped their status on the depth chart, an edge the Lions had over the Jets in one important category, how former Lions starting guard Stephen Peterman felt at home playing his first game for the Jets against his old team and
We start with Suh:
1. Teaching points: Suh and most of the other starters on defense got their work in early and hit the bench. Suh played 19 snaps. Rookie Ziggy Ansah, who played 20, was the only starter on the defensive line that played more.
Suh was out of the action, but his mind was in the game. After a change of possession in the second half, he had an animated conversation with first-year defensive lineman
"Just giving him some tips," Suh said when asked about it Sunday. "Nothing serious. Just getting off the ball, being wild and crazy – basically, carrying after how Kyle plays."
Suh was referring to Kyle Vanden Bosch, a veteran who came to the Lions as a free agent in 2010, the year the Lions drafted Suh second overall.
Suh has talked about how much he learned about life in the NFL from watching and listening to Vanden Bosch, and how it's his turn now to pass along his knowledge and experience.
Suh's message was to be aggressive, don't hold back.
"You don't have anything to lose," he said. "Just go out as hard and fast as you can and make a play. That's what this game is for.
"Run out there. Go make plays. Cause havoc, then we'll coach the rest of it."
2. Happy no returns: Rookie punter Sam Martin showed that he is a good option to kick off, if the Lions want to save
All three of Martin's kickoffs Friday night went into the end zone for touchbacks. His ability to boom kickoffs deep was part of the reason the Lions drafted Martin in the fifth round.
Martin is a punter first and kickoff man second, but upgrading kickoffs was a priority.
The only deficiency late in Jason Hanson's Hall of Fame-caliber career was kickoffs. In his 21st season, he had lost some distance. He was 12th in the league in touchbacks last year with 30 but 26th in percentage of touchbacks at 34.5.
A groin injury limited Akers last season in San Francisco, but his kickoff stats were strong – fifth in touchbacks with 40, tied for 15th in touchback percentage at 46.0.
Akers made both field goal attempts against the Jets, connecting from 47 and 35 yards.
With the Lions saving Akers' leg, Martin knew he'd kick off Friday night.
"Who knows what going to happen in the future?" Martin said. "I love kicking off."
3. The bright lights: Preseason games don't count in the standings, but jobs and can be won and lost in those games. Performance counts.
"It certainly can help, and it certainly can hurt," Coach Jim Schwartz said. "The game is what matters. You want to see guys who make plays in practice. You want to see that carry over to games. That's what we're all measured by, is the final result in games.
"We take into account their entire body of work, but it'll certainly be heavily weighted to preseason games."
Lewis filled up his line in the box score: a sack, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery while playing 17 snaps.
Lewis played only one defensive snap as a rookie, and when a hamstring injury kept him from practicing in camp for more than week, there were legitimate reasons to wonder if Lewis would have a future in Detroit.
One preseason performance doesn't guarantee anything, but Lewis did nothing to hurt his stock.
5. Handy man: There's a backlog of players competing for the fourth and fifth receiver spots behind
All three catches made an impact: a nine-yard catch on third and six for a first down; a 15-yard TD catch on third and two; and a lunging sideline catch for a 27-yard gain. Officials originally ruled that the catch was made out of bounds, but the call was reversed after a challenge by Schwartz.
Willis kept his focus and made the TD catch in the end zone with a cornerback in front of him.
Willis made the Ravens' roster as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2008 and spent the last four seasons as a backup in Denver, where he had 28 catches the last two seasons combined.
Willis played 19 snaps and was targeted for passes four times. By comparison,
6. "Pete" repeat: Stephen Peterman, nicknamed "Pete" for obvious reasons, was popular among teammates in seven seasons with the Lions. He was released after last season and signed by the Jets, who need a veteran guard on their offensive line.
Peterman was in familiar territory Friday night, and it wasn't just because he was playing at Ford Field.
The Jets stayed at the Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit – the same hotel the Lions use for home games. Peterman told a Lions official that his room was the same one he stayed in as a Lion.
Peterman also got a holding penalty on the Jets' second possession – the Jets' first of the preseason.
7. Foul play: The Lions want to be more disciplined and win the turnover battle this year. After one game, they're on target to achieve both goals.
They had a 2-0 advantage in turnovers and were penalized seven times for 71 yards compared to 11 penalties for 85 yards for the Jets. More significant was the first-half penalty differential – only one for 12 yards to the Lions to six for 45 for the Jets.
8. Styling: Burleson had a clean-cut look at practice Sunday. The red-tinged dreadlocks that he had cultivated for a year and a half were gone.
"It's that time of year," Burleson said. "More cameras are out. I've got to do the right thing. I accomplished my goal. I actually grew out dreads just to see if I could stick with it, have the discipline to grow them out.
"And I did it. Now it's time to get back to business, a new season, a new look."