PASS MARK FOR 2014: While it would be nice to make the finals, it's not all about wins and losses this year. The Lions need to bridge the gulf between their best and worst football, avoid blowouts and imbed coach Justin Leppitsch's more defence-orientated game-plan. A percentage closer to 100 would be a major step forward.
NEEDS A BIG YEAR: After five years in the system, Jordan Lisle needs to step up. Jonathan Brown won't be around forever, and with the Lions drafting a stack of young talls in the past two years, Lisle needs to grab his chances before they dry up.
FIRST FIVE GAMES: Hawthorn (AS), Geelong (G), Gold Coast (MS), Port Adelaide (AS), Richmond (G)
TOUGHEST RUN: The first five weeks will be a brutal initiation for new coach Leppitsch. Starting with the premier Hawthorn (in Launceston), followed by Geelong, a derby clash against Gold Coast, a trip to Port Adelaide, and home match to Richmond is a tough beginning. If the Lions put themselves in a position to challenge the top eight, they finish with Collingwood (away), Fremantle and Geelong (away) in the final three weeks.
DREAM SCENARIO: One of Lisle, Michael Close or Jackson Paine emerges from the pack to claim a forward line spot and become a regular goalkicker. Since the departure of Daniel Bradshaw and the bungled Brendan Fevola trade, the Lions have struggled to unearth a big forward to play alongside Brown.
WORST NIGHTMARE: A poor start, including a loss to little brother Gold Coast in round three, and a finish in the bottom four would further distance the Lions from its supporter base. Any hint of homesickness from the raft of new draftees would also not go down too well at the Gabba.
PRESSURE RATING ON THE COACH: 1/10. Justin Leppitsch has a free-hit of sorts for his first year in charge. He has a team in transition, with a lot of new faces, and not too many external expectations.