From time to time this offseason Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."
20man: There are a few that will be fun to watch:
-- The starting cornerback spot opposite Darius Slay. It seems Teez Tabor will have a great opportunity to win it, but he’ll have challengers.
-- Running back depth. LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick seem to be the top three. Who slots in at No. 4 & No. 5?
-- The fifth receiver spot. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay and TJ Jones are the top 4. The Lions kept five on the initial 53-man roster last year.
-- Third linebacker. Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard are the top two. Christian Jones, Jonathan Freeny, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and others are all competing for time at the other spot(s).
20man: There’s a lot that’s new in terms of the rushing attack, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. Let’s be honest, there’s no pads and limited contact, so you have to take that into account, but I think LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson complement each other nicely at the top of the rotation, and Frank Ragnow seems to have solidified the offensive line.
Matthew Stafford is entering year 10, and he has all four of his top receivers back. I think the passing game has really been ahead of the curve so far this offseason because of the experience that is back in the same system. I like where the offense is at right now. The biggest key is to stay healthy upfront.
20man: This may be an odd way to answer this, but the rookie that’s stood out the most is Ragnow because he hasn’t stood out at all. Are you still with me? I’ve been impressed by the fact that Ragnow has stepped right into the starting lineup from Day 1, and hasn’t looked out of place at all. There aren’t any pads at these practices, so it’s a little harder to evaluate offensive linemen, but Ragnow looks the part and fits right in with that veteran group. That’s been impressive.
As for a vet, second-year receiver Kenny Golladay caught my eye. He looks really comfortable in year two, and the guy is always working and doing something during practice to improve his craft, even when he’s not in a rep. I expect him to be a big-time weapon in the red zone this season.
*20man: *This whole narrative is rather silly, in my opinion. This is football. This is the offseason training program. Patricia is in no way in any threat of losing players over some extra running. Every player I’ve talked to is well aware of the history of success Patricia enjoyed over in New England, and is more than happy to implement anything – a little more running included – if Patricia thinks it’s best for the team and the individual player in the long run (no pun intended).
*20man: *Just going off what I saw during the six open OTA and minicamp practices, I’d have to say left guard. He played left guard exclusively with the first-team offense in those open practices. I don’t think that position is set in stone, but I can only go off what I’ve seen, and I’ve only ever seen him at left guard.
Some may be sleeping on Glasgow as a center. Here’s an interesting conversation I had with Dan Orlovsky at the Super Bowl about him and the center position in general.
*20man: *I wouldn’t be surprised at all if second-year MIKE linebacker Jarrad Davis puts up some monster numbers. This is a linebacker-friendly defense, and Davis has the right mindset, skillset and work ethic to really excel in this multiple scheme Patricia and Paul Pasqualoni are installing here in Detroit.
*20man: *GM Bob Quinn made it very clear after relieving Jim Caldwell of coaching duties that 9-7 and being a fringe playoff team doesn’t cut it around here anymore. Quinn wants division titles, playoff wins and to be in a position to compete for a Super Bowl. I think the quick answer to your question is he needs to win a NFC North title, host and win a playoff game, and get this team to a position where it is consistently in the conversation year over year as one of the top NFC contenders.
20man: It’s hard to make any grand declarations from watching players run around in shorts with no contact, but I believe the Lions have made the proper additions and adjustments to be a more consistent running football team. I’m not saying they’ll be Top 10, but they don’t need to be. Top 20 would make a world of difference. If this offense had a consistent rushing attack that was a viable threat from week to week, they would have the potential to be ridiculously good because of what they do in the passing game.
Stafford ranked in the top six in every major statistical category last season with the league’s worst run game. He was sacked the second most times among all QBs. Think about that for a moment. I like what I’ve seen from Blount, Johnson and Ragnow. I think their additions, along with the new blocking schemes upfront, will make a difference in that part of the game.
20man: Diggs lined up at both safety and slot corner this offseason, but spent more time at safety. The fact that Glover Quin wasn’t in Allen Park for OTAs and Tavon Wilson didn’t do much in team periods as he’s still rehabbing from injury, could have been factors in that, however.
I thought Diggs played very well at safety when he was there, and has a terrific skillset for the position. He and Glover Quin make a nice duo with Wilson and Miles Killebrew getting plenty of time in sub packages, which the Lions are in 60 to 70 percent of the time anyway.
20man: That is an interesting take. I just took it as this team had a lot of veteran players who are capable of being leaders. Patricia was actually asked this question the last time we spoke to him. I’ll let him answer this one:
“You know, that will be a big team discussion for us as we get going,” he said. “I would say I’m a one-captain guy. Sometimes you’re not opposed to it, sometimes it’s a good idea, sometimes it’s not. I think in general, there’s leadership for the team that will emerge as we go through. And I think we’ll identify that and those that the team kind of designates that should be in charge of that when we get to that point, which we’re not even close. But when we do, we’ll let the team decide.”