The Detroit Lions are ready to go out and hit someone. At least someone besides their own teammates.
With their first pre-season matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers approaching, Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci will be able to get a good first look at his pupils in action.
"It's nice because we get to put a little bit of a game plan together and we get to have some excitement in Ford Field," said Mariucci. "The players want to hit somebody, tackle a quarterback and play the game.
"When we practice we're practicing football but we're not cutting it loose completely so they're anxious to do that. They need to hit somebody else for awhile."
Lions' safety Brock Marion concurred.
"(Offense) is looking good now, but it's early," said Marion. "You would like to see what they can do against another opponent because you can evaluate them better -- we practice against them so much. They're throwing and catching the ball well. We're running the ball well. It looks good right now. It's a good test during the first preseason game when you finally hit someone for real and you have people trying to tackle you."
Mariucci and the Lions will begin preparing for Saturday's matchup with the Steelers during the course of the week, especially during Thursday and Friday's practice sessions.
"We are looking forward to playing Pittsburgh and bringing a little bit more excitement to practice," said tackle Jeff Backus. "We won't start preparing for them until the end of the week, but playing against somebody different is a little bit more fun than playing against the same guys everyday."
Lions' quarterback Joey Harrington is also ready to some competition.
"It seems like its come very quickly, but that's the exciting part," said Harrington. "It's suiting up with the guys on the weekend and going out and playing somebody else. It is a battle between getting excited and staying focused. The second you come into off-season workouts, that's the focus - getting back and playing a game again."
Mariucci, Lions Prepare for Pre-Season
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