I can’t imagine being an NFL coach is an easy job. Even putting aside being under the national microscope, having every inch of your personal life torn down for public consumption, the day-to-day operations must be filled with difficult decision after difficult decision. And no matter whose fault it is, when a problem arises, it’s on you.
One of the more difficult decisions, I imagine, is divvying up the playing time in a preseason game. On one hand, you want to get a legitimate evaluation of certain players in a gamelike situation that can’t be replicated in practice while also getting said player properly prepared for the regular season. On the other hand, put a player out there for one snap too many, and an injury could lose him for the entire season.
From a fan perspective, it’s our impatient nature to want to see the best players out there for as long as possible. We want to see Matthew Stafford out there because he’s fun to watch and the alternatives are not. We want to see Kerryon Johnson, because he’s new and exciting and gives the Lions hope where there wasn’t for the past few years.
But as we saw with the Graham Glasgow injury scare, a single limping player can derail optimism for an entire season. So with all that in mind, today’s Question of the Day is:
Which player do you want to see for an extended amount of time in the Lions’ preseason game vs. the Giants?
My answer: Miles Killebrew. At this point, it appears Killebrew’s move to linebacker is permanent. But given his limited reps in training camp, and his seven snaps in the Lions’ preseason opener, I don’t have a good grasp on how the transition is going.
I’d love to see Killebrew get an entire half against the Giants, both so I can do a proper evaluation on him and so that the young defender gets more experience at the position.
The Lions’ linebacker depth isn’t all that great at this point, and as a result, many believe a guy like Freddie Bishop, who admittedly has shined in camp, has a good shot at the final roster. No offense to Bishop, but considering him among the linebacker group speaks more to the Lions’ lack of depth than it does Bishop’s talent.
Killebrew is the must better physical talent than Bishop, and his coverage skills should be coveted in a linebacker group that is lacking that exact ability. The question is whether Killebrew can absorb all of the information Matt Patricia is throwing at him and eliminate the mental mistakes. The only way we’ll be able to know if it’s working is to see him out there for a long time.