Coaching perspective on preseason

The Patriots visit the Lions in the third preseason game, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz shared his thoughts on the matchup.

"Like NE as third preseason game. Nice having a 3-4 team as talented as the Patriots in that slot," Schwartz tweeted.

Schwartz' thoughts echo how coaches sometimes view preseason games. They look at the opponents, what schemes they run, and then factor in how that matches up against opponents they face in the regular season. The Lions know they'll have to go through some talented 3-4 teams in the regular season, starting in their own division with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers, so Schwartz likes the idea of the Patriots serving as a solid preseason tune-up.

For the Patriots, each of their four preseason opponents runs the 4-3 defense -- Jaguars, Buccaneers, Lions, Giants.

Of the 13 teams the Patriots face in the regular season, only a small handful are 4-3 teams, so the Patriots won't get a great "live" look at the 3-4 defense in preseason action.