It was a long offseason filled with a lot of uncertainty, but we've finally made it to regular season Week 1 in the NFL.
Football is back!
"Here we go. Season has started," Lions head coach Matt Patricia said in a Zoom call with reporters Monday. "Been a long journey, been an interesting spring and obviously a short but unique training camp and we're here."
For Patricia, his coaching staff and the 2020 Detroit Lions, the focus turns to the Chicago Bears and game planning for Sunday's regular-season opener at Ford Field.
What are the challenges of preparing for an opponent with no preseason tape to watch?
Patricia admitted it does have its challenges, even though the preseason is pretty bland in terms of what teams put on tape.
The biggest thing Patricia said the preseason tape provides is an evaluation of individual player development and what kind of changes they may have made in the offseason.
Teams don't show a lot in terms of scheme or play calling, but coaches can sometimes get a better feel for the direction an offense, defense or special teams is headed based off the preseason tape.
"It'll be completely different," Patricia said.
At least every team is in the same boat Week 1.
How does knowing Mitchell Trubisky will start at quarterback for the Bears Sunday change the preparation this week?
The Lions will still prepare for Trubisky and Nick Foles, because there's always a chance they see either player because of injury or ineffectiveness, but it does allow for a little more time to be spent on Trubisky, who's played well against Detroit in the past.
He boasts a 3-2 record with a 106.3 passer rating with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in five previous games against the Lions.
Patricia was also quick to point out some of the skill weapons Trubisky has around him, particularly wide receiver Allen Robinson and running back Tarik Cohen.
How did the signing of running back Adrian Peterson come together?
After Peterson was released from the Washington Football Team last week, the Lions talked about their situation at running back and thought bringing on Peterson would be a good fit. They then reached out to Peterson to see if there was mutual interest.
Patricia said Peterson's familiarity with Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and his scheme was a big selling point.
Bevell served as Peterson's offensive coordinator in Minnesota from 2007-10. In that four-season span, Peterson led the NFL in rushing yards (5,782) and touchdowns (52), and was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro each season.
Peterson arrived in Allen Park Monday. Patricia wouldn't say if Peterson will be ready to play Sunday against the Bears or how much he might play. It will really depend on the week of work he has.
Do we have an injury update on rookie running back D’Andre Swift and his availability for Sunday?
Swift was injured about a week into camp and missed roughly the next two weeks. He returned in limited fashion last week, but Bevell admitted that the time missed might affect how much the Lions are willing to put on the rookie's plate early on.
When asked about Swift, Patricia quickly turned to regular-season mode, where he doesn't like talking about injuries and generally likes to stick to the injury report, which will be released Wednesday for the first time this week.
"I think we'll wait until Wednesday," Patricia said with a smile. "But if you guys have any info on Chicago that you want to send my way, if (head coach Matt) Nagy is giving anything away, you can let me know."
The regular season is definitely here!