Sunday's game is for evaluating entire team

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Justin Vanfulpen -

PONTIAC - Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg will begin evaluating players, and coaches for the off-season when the NFL regular season ends next Monday -- plus Mornhinweg will be preparing for free-agency and the draft.

One member of Mornhinweg's staff that may not return in 2002 is defensive coordinator Vince Tobin. The Lions defense has been near the bottom of the NFL for most of the season. The Lions players have never adjusted to Tobin's scheme of defense. But Tobin could save his job with a good performance from the defense this Sunday against the Cowboys.

The Lions have free-agents that the team has to make decisions on if they want them back for next season, most of the Lions free-agents will not be re-signed but some have a chance to come back to the ball club for the 2002 season.

Mornhinweg indicated he will act sooner-than-later when the free-agent signing period begins March 2.

"We'll have a little bit quicker jump on the draft," Mornhinweg said. "All of those things, we're in a little bit better timing mode. Certainly, the free-agent situation may come a little earlier for us."

2002 Opponents

The Lions play Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota home and away. Other home opponents are the Jets, Buccaneers, Patriots, Saints and Cowboys. Road games are with the Panthers, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons and either Seahawks or Cardinals, depending on which team has a worst record, so most likely it will be the Cardinals who are 7-8 since the Seahawks are 8-7.

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