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"The speed will be ratcheted up, but it'll be fun," Stafford said. "You have to go through the preseason to prepare for it and get a taste. I just can't wait to get out there."
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan knows Stafford could only learn so much from the sideline.
"He's not going to be able to experience success until he has a little bit of failure," Linehan said.
If Stafford has time to throw, he'll have the good fortune of being able to connect with sensational receiver Calvin Johnson. If he is double-covered, receiver Bryant Johnson will have to take advantage.
If Kevin Smith can give Detroit a decent running game, Stafford will have a better shot at having some measure of success.
The problem is, the Lions had one of the worst defenses in league history last year and it takes a leap of faith to see improvement.
Veterans were added -- linebackers Larry Foote and Julian Peterson, cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry -- but the line looks like it will be weak against the run, making it tough for the rest of the defense to do its job.
Defensive end Dewayne White, though, is optimistic the Gunther Cunningham-designed defense can prove doubters wrong.
"I'm loving this defense," White said. "I can just line up wide and am free to just go get the quarterback. There aren't many restrictions. You just have to go make plays."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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