A buzz seems to be building that the Lions should be better — and maybe a whole lot better — this year than they were last year. But the Lions have released their first depth chart of training camp, and it calls into question whether they’ve improved at all at two of their weakest positions from 2012.
On the Lions’ offensive line, their projected starters include Dylan Gandy at right guard and Jason Fox at right tackle. The 31-year-old Gandy is a longtime backup who hasn’t started a single game since 2009, and Fox has never started a single game in his three-year NFL career. There’s usually a reason that a player spends three years as a backup, and it’s usually that he’s not good enough to be a starter.
At right cornerback, the Lions are starting Ron Bartell, who is good enough to start — when he’s healthy, which is rare. Injuries have limited Bartell to a grand total of eight games over the last three seasons, and it’s hard to see the Lions counting on Bartell to be healthy enough to start 16 games this season.
What Lions fans have to hope is that second-round rookie Darius Slay is good enough to start at cornerback, and third-round rookie Larry Warford is good enough to start at guard. Seeing Bartell and Gandy in the starting lineup for Week One won’t inspire much confidence.