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10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: How will Lions use Montgomery & Gibbs in offense?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: Both Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery have proven to be very capable and reliable receiving threats. Gibbs in particular might be the best pass catching running back I've seen in Detroit in my 15 years covering the team. He's got natural hands and is a terrific route runner.

Johnson was also asked this week if he's concerned about their ability to stretch the field vertically with wide receiver Jameson Williams suspended and DJ Chark no longer here. He said vertical threats don't have to be receivers so that's one thing to watch out for with Gibbs. He made a ton of catches down the field in training camp and I think that's something we could see that is a little unconventional from other pass-catching backs around the league.

20man: Quarterback Jared Goff didn't seem too worried about it when we talked to him. Let's not forget the Lions had two joint practice sessions with the Giants and Jaguars – four total practices – where Goff and the starters saw 40-to-50 reps each of the days against the starting defense. Detroit also conducted a full contact ones vs. ones practice the final week of training camp.

Goff is a veteran player who's been in this league a long time and he's gotten the work he needs. I'm not that worried about it.

20man: I'm spoiling my Thursday podcast a little bit, but I had Chiefs beat writer for the Kansas City Star Jesse Newell record on Monday, and he didn't seem optimistic Jones would be available Thursday night. That's certainly good for the Lions.

Jones is a veteran player who has played a lot of football, so he shouldn't need much time to acclimate himself having missed all of camp. I think until we get inactives 90 minutes before kickoff we won't know for sure unless we get an announcement from Chiefs head coach Andy Reid before that.

20man: I could see Johnson using 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR) quite a bit this year with the addition of Sam LaPorta at tight end and having Brock Wright and James Mitchell also in the fold.

The Lions ran out of the 12 personnel formation the second most behind 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) last year. They ran 685 plays (62.9 percent) in 11 personnel and 123 (11.3 percent) in 12 personnel. I would expect the percentage for 12 personnel to increase this year.

20man: I expect Alex Anzalone to start at the WILL and Derrick Barnes to start at the MIKE. That being said, Campbell will play, along with Malcolm Rodriguez. I actually wouldn't be surprised when it's all said and done and the reps are in the books, if Campbell plays more than Barnes given Kansas City's explosive passing attack and Campbell being a little better as a pass defender than Barnes.

20man: Cam Sutton and Jerry Jacobs on the outside at cornerback. Rookie Brian Branch starting at the nickel cornerback spot. C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Kerby Joseph at safety. That's really been the starting secondary all of camp. I could see Tracy Walker working into the mix a little bit too, especially on run downs, but Sutton, Jacobs, Branch, Gardner-Johnson and Joseph will get the bulk of the work. I don't think Emmanuel Moseley will be ready to play quite yet. And watching them in training camp, it's an improved secondary for the Lions.

20man: I've got two. One positive and one negative.

The positive was the Monday Night home opener against the Giants in 2014 when the Lions came out and dominated New York, 35-14. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson had 164 yards and two touchdowns, and the Lions out-gained the Giants 417 yards to 197. It got loud in Ford Field.

The negative was the first game of the Matt Patricia era on Monday night against the Jets. It got off to a great start with a Quandre Diggs pick-six to start the game, but it went downhill fast from there. The Lions eventually got blown out 48-17. Not fun to be in Ford Field the second half of that game.

20man: Look, I never say never with these kinds of things, but a trade for wide receiver Mike Evans would likely require a new contract as well and that won't be cheap.

If the Lions are going to pay a receiver top market value, I'd prefer it be the 23-year-old Amon-Ra St. Brown and not the 30-year old Evans. Just my personal opinion. They're already paying Williams quite a bit being the No. 12 overall pick last year, and quarterback Jared Goff and tackle Penei Sewell are coming due soon too.

Head coach Dan Campbell loves this current roster and the weapons they have on offense. I say onward with what they got.

20man: That really depends on Gardner-Johnson and the season he has. I can tell you from watching him operate the last couple months he's been a terrific addition not only as a playmaker but as a vocal leader too. He's 25-years old and seems like a great scheme fit in Aaron Glenn's defense.

If the Lions win, this defense plays much better and Gardner-Johnson is a big part of that, I could see the Lions opening up the checkbook and trying to keep him in town long-term. I could see other teams interested as well, which is good for Gardner-Johnson.

20man: I think the Lions will be able to run the football on Kansas City's defense, especially if Jones doesn't play. But even with Jones, KC has lost some production from their defensive line and Detroit has the mentality and the big boys upfront to impose their will in the ground game.

Gibbs has a shot to be very productive both as a runner and receiver in this contest.

A close second for me is defensive back Brian Branch. The second-round pick is likely to start at the nickel, and I wouldn't be surprised if he makes an impact play or two. We've seen it from him all of camp.

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