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Scouting the Browns’ Preseason opponent: Detroit Lions - Our Q&A with Pride of Detroit

We ask the Lions’ running back situation, their biggest remaining position battle, winning the barge, and more.

NFL: New York Giants at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Cleveland Browns play their final preseason game when they travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. To help preview a few topics from the Lions’ perspective, we reached out to Chris Perfett from Pride of Detroit and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!

NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders
Should we pump the brakes on labeling QB Jake Rudock a future Hall of Famer?
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Pokorny: “Is there still a position battle taking place on the Lions, or have they all been settled?”

Perfett: “There are always warriors on these battlefields, Snake. They fight without country or nationality, but only for the sake of battle. In the case of the Lions though, I think it’s pretty much situated, save the question of quarterback and the fifth wide receiver. In the former I don’t think anyone is dreaming hopeful of Jake Rudock; in the latter there’s been some exceptional standouts like Teo Redding and Brandon Powell but no one who I can really say has put themselves in a position to win any appreciable spot. As always, probably a few surprises come cut time, and the insane episode with Robert Ayers has left edge rushing depth in the lurch, but otherwise I don’t foresee any other major surprises when the roster is whittled. Maybe we’ll be surprised if they carry a fullback or not. I don’t know. I liked it better when I was trying to sound like Hideo Kojima.”

NFL: Detroit Lions-Minicamp
Rookie center Frank Ragnow was hit in the jugular here and has not been seen since.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Pokorny: “How has first round center Frank Ragnow been?”

Perfett: “On an offensive line of misery and inanity, Ragnow looks good. In truth the interior of the line does look solid and Ragnow is playing like a first round pick, which is nice because he was one. This is all I can really say about him, because he plays on the offensive line, an element of football I refuse to really learn much about because it’s really boring to talk about to anyone but the most absolute neanderthals of sports fans. When someone starts discussing offensive line play I just imagine they’re using a rock to cave in the skull of an ape and offer its carcass to a pitch black monolith.”

NFL: New York Giants at Detroit Lions
Second-round pick Kerryon Johnson is the lead ball carrier for Detroit...for now.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Pokorny: “I’m always confused about the Lions’ running game in terms of who will do what. Which players are expected to contribute this year?”

Perfett: “The run must be established, the run must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Second round draft pick Kerryon Johnson approaches the stone altar now, for he will now be the one to try to rush for more than 100 yards in a game, any game, really any bloody game now, the first Lions to do that since the early 20-teens. He looks promising enough to do it but this offensive line has to provide better opportunities for bloodletting, I mean running lanes. Otherwise, it is probably set up to be a running back by committee scheme, but only in that no one can really produce at a meaningful clip save Theo Riddick, who is only good in the passing game. Behind these two are old oaked LeGarette Blount and the slightly smoldering (not in a good way) Ameer Abdullah, who I guess might do special teams stuff. All others you might see carrying “the rock,” as I am told to call it, are probably doomed from this roster, save whatever warm corpse they find to run fullback.”

NFL: New York Giants at Detroit Lions
Keep an eye on TE Hakeem Valles.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Pokorny: “Tell us about one player on offense and one on defense who have had solid preseasons, but who Browns fans may not be familiar with.”

Perfett: “Keep an eye on Hakeem Valles, a wonderful tight end who is probably the best surprise at a position the Lions willingly eviscerated when they cut Eric Ebron without any plan to replace his production.

The defense is in timeout. I’m not talking about them.

This might be the last chance you have to see Jace Billingsley at wide receiver, and that’s a shame because he’s a good kid and he’s got plenty of moxie.”

Pokorny: “If Detroit doesn’t win the barge, is the 2018 season already a wash?”

Perfett: “It’s already a wash. Game over. Matt Patricia was a mistake, this team sucks, blow it up. I was honestly planning on spending the next three months collecting not-quite-plump paychecks from sports betting websites advertising with our podcast and sleeping on Hermosa Beach. The rest of the staff has called it quits and are trying to make it as Twitch streamers playing Fortnite and Madden. I ain’t even thinking about football. Lions are done.”

Thanks again to Chris for taking the time to answer our questions!