Fresh off their first playoff appearance in more than a decade, the Detroit Lions open training camp Thursday looking to make the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1994-95.
As camp opens, much of the attention will be on Detroit's high-powered offense. Led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the Lions finished with the NFL's fourth-highest scoring offense in 2011 at 29.6 points per game. Stafford threw for more than 5,000 yards while Johnson caught 96 passes for 1,681 yards.
Detroit will hope to have a more potent running game in 2012 with the return of Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure from injury. Best missed 10 games last season due to a concussion while Leshoure missed the entire season with an Achillies injury.
On the defensive side of the ball, Detroit still needs to resolve the contract issue with franchised defensive end Cliff Avril. The two sides were unable to agree to a long-term contract by the franchise deadline so Avril will now likely play the 2012 season under his $10.6 million franchise player tender.
Whether or not Avril reports for the start of training camp remains to be seen.