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With no preseason games, Lions ready to call an audible when preparing for Bears

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

In a normal season, coaches can prepare for the season opener by looking at some game tape from the preseason to get a sense of some tendencies.

By and large, teams are very vanilla in the exhibition games, seeking more to strengthen their base schemes and not show any future opponents too much of the playbook. This season, it’s even more difficult to scout opponents, because there is no preseason.

No games, no video.

“There might be a little more unknown, but at the same time, we've got to go out there and play," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We've got to stick to what we do."

It’s an equal playing field for every team, though, as they’ll all be in the dark about what they’ll be facing. Some coaches will be going off past years’ games, but in some cases, it could just be a guessing game, beginning Sunday against the Bears.

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“There might be a little more guesswork involved with personnel grouping and things like that. But most teams are pretty guarded in the preseason anyways, with what they're trying to do and what they're trying to show their opponent,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “There might be a little more unknown, but at the same time, we've got to go out there and play. We've got to stick to what we do.

“They're going to stick to what they do. Go out there and try to make some plays and see who can come out on top.”

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Practices have been limited and much of that time has been spent on teams understanding their own schemes, rather than focusing on opponents. That’s the focus this week, which puts the comprehension factor at warp speed.

“We’ll find that out too here as we get through the week. I think the total number of practices in training camp was 14. That kind of puts you in a situation where you can't overload (players) and you don't even have an opportunity to,” defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said. “You want to put them in a position where they can go out and play fast and not have too much stuff to worry about and think about with all the adjustments, especially against (the Bears), with all these multiplicities that they have.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard