Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 11/17/14

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Cornerback Rashean Mathis #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after making a tackle against the Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
With training camp and the preseason now underway for the Detroit Lions, we’re putting some positional battles under the microscope with a series of Toss-ups… Training Camp Toss-up, No. 6: Does the late camp addition of Rashean Mathis mean anything for Detroit’s secondary? Do you beleive the staff will give Mathis a chance to start opposite Chris Houston instead of Darius Slay, or is he merely a veteran fill-in? Andrew Tomlinson: Slay was drafted, which to me is the only real reason why he would start over Mathis on the outside. It seems clear Mathis is a backup plan in case Slay does not work throughout the year and to push Bill Bentley for the nickel spot. I honestly believe the Lions are expecting their draft picks to contribute, but with how bad this defense has been during the preseason, major changes would not surprise me. Chris Burke: Slay’s going to get his playing time, at least as a rotational corner or with someone sliding to the nickel slot so he can play out wide on passing downs. I think Mathis’ arrival says much more about the cornerbacks behind Chris Houston and Slay than it does about those top two guys. It’s not a coincidence that Mathis’ signing came in the midst of a preseason in which Bill Bentley has been flat-out horrible and Jonte Green/Chris Greenwood have struggled to get on the field. The Lions’ 2012 CB draft plan has bombed thus far, so Mathis ought to get every opportunity to crack the lineup. Max DeMara: Like Chris, I think the addition of Mathis speaks more about the Lions’ lack of quality depth and experience behind the big two. Detroit can have both Mathis and Slay coexist in the backfield, but the heat needs to be turned up significantly on Bill Bentley, who’s looked lost on the field during the preseason. The Lions can’t count on either Greenwood or Green to be completely healthy by the time the season begins and others haven’t distinguished themselves, so with youth all over the place, the team needed meaningful experience, which Mathis brings. There’s no reason he can’t see plenty of playing time. and his veteran know-how should help a young secondary find its way.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Nobody’s safe in the NFL and nothing is sacred

UMass to retire jersey in honor of John Calipari

Houston Texans are moving on from Andre Johnson

Top landing spots for Darrelle Revis

Mets: Murphy will no longer discuss his religious beliefs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb rejects contract proposal from Packers

Peyton Manning to take $4 million pay cut with Broncos

Kevin Durant has ‘no doubt’ he’ll return this season

Sidney Rice, Steve Weatherford to donate brains for research

Bills acquire Matt Cassel from Vikings

Report: Free agents ‘leery’ of Chip Kelly after McCoy trade

Five teams that should consider signing JaVale McGee

MLB local streaming is unlikely for Opening Day

Ronaldo sends his hair stylist to check on his wax figure monthly

Arizona Diamondbacks unveil 'The Churro Dog'

Ray Allen announces he will not play this season

Are the Suns built for the present as well as the future?

Ndamukong $uh billboards springing up all over Detroit

WATCH: Russian youth hockey teams brawl in handshake line

Prince played high school basketball in Minnesota

Thoughts on how the Eagles got to the end of the 'Shady' era

David Wright called out prospect for eating during scrimmage

Murray State pitcher’s leg kick is entirely out of hand

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why haven't brands shown love to James Harden?

Nobody’s safe in the NFL and nothing is sacred

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.