Max DeMara of Lions 101 will spend part of this week and next visiting and watching the Detroit Lions during their training camp in Allen Park, Michigan. Armed with only a ballpoint pen and an index card, he'll jot down everything interesting and mundane that fans need to know prior to the 2013 season.
With family weekend winding down in Allen Park, plenty of kids lined up early Sunday morning to take part in coaching clinics, get their faces painted and catch a glimpse of their Detroit Lions on the practice field. Temperatures were perfect, with a hint of fall chill remaining in the air, lending to some early morning excitement.
Unlike Friday, there were no muffs or comedic action early Sunday morning to get the team laughing, but rookie linebacker Brandon Hepburn quietly showed his spirit. After team stretching was done, Hepburn, in a full out sprint, flew to linebacker drills to get things underway.
Wide Receiver, Running Back, Defensive Back, Special Teams And Linebacker Warm Ups:
-Good hands were on display once again, as the Lions were smooth in their cuts and managed to hang onto the ball, even during drills where they were contorted or out of position running cones.
-Louis Delmas returned to the practice field, making a nice over the shoulder reception on his first attempt in a defensive back drill. Delmas, who has bulky knees and is being rested, ran well and showed good closing speed to snag the ball.
-The best drills of the day involved tennis balls. Testing lateral speed of the linebackers, the Lions were quickly rolled tennis balls along the ground. Don't expect to see many of them at Wimbledon, though, as few could corral the ball between their legs or catch up side to side. The wide outs, though, managed to do better with their hand-eye coordination drill, picking up the tennis balls before sliding around tackling dummies.
-After fumbling on Friday, Mikel Leshoure made the first noticeable drop of the day on an easy pass, generating noticeable groans from the crowd.
-Others back on the field in addition to Delmas? Wide receiver Devin Thomas and cornerback Darius Slay, who each were on the field participating.
7 on 7 Drills:
-Early on, the defense was turning up the heat, forcing Detroit's offense to several sticky situations and a few incompleteness or shorter gains. Matthew Stafford was even pressured, as he was chased from the pocket and "sacked" once.
-Detroit's length and size at tight end was on display a couple times, notably when young Joseph Fauria and Tony Scheffler repeatedly made nice catches up above their smaller counterparts.
-Ryan Broyles continues to look good coming off back to back years of ACL trouble. Picking up where he left off Friday, Broyles got in a nice flow in his happy zone near the sidelines and looked like he'll be a favorite target for Stafford.
-Kellen Moore saw plenty of work and didn't exactly impress. The second year man fired three interceptions to his own defense. Most feel he still has the inside track to the third quarterback spot, but with a disastrous preseason and Thaddeus Lewis catching fire, that could certainly change in a hurry.
-Offensively, the Lions may be planning to take pressure off their newfangled offensive line by running plenty of sweeps and draws in the running game. Theo Riddick and Steven Miller both may figure into the team's plans here, as each was used extensively in this role, with Riddick looking particularly good Sunday. Later, he left the field and was apparently injured.
Play Of The Day:
-Shaun Hill unloads a deep ball which finds Michael Spurlock deep in stride, barely burning Domonique Johnson, who was only a few short steps behind. Loud cheers quickly erupted all around the end zone.
Numbers To Know:
1, Mighty celebratory spike by Tony Scheffler, coming when he found the end zone in 7 on 7 work for a score.
3, Interceptions by Kellen Moore, who had a tough day. He was intercepted in light drills once, then twice during 7 on 7 play in a two-minute drill situation.
3, 47, 89 and 82, The jersey numbers of Havard Rugland, Fauria, Michael Williams and Matt Veldman, all of whom stayed until the bitter end signing autographs for children and fans.
Quote Of Note:
"Oh, yeah!" –Rookie tight end Michael Williams, when asked if Jim Schwartz was as tough as his collegiate coach from Alabama, notorious tough guy Nick Saban. Naturally, the statement was accompanied by a wry smile.
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