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.
Trying to beat the threat of afternoon rain, the Detroit Lions put the pads on and started hitting Tuesday morning. The best moves, however, might have come in between the action. Louis Delmas, back in pads, took time out to showcase his dance moves in between drills, and even put a full nelson down later on an unlucky teammate. Clearly, he's feeling more chipper by the day.
7 on 7 workout drills shifted over to the other field today, leaving the special teamers in full view from the front grandstands. Before that, though, there was plenty of quality action in workouts and drills.
Defensive Back, Wide Reciever And Quarterback Workouts:
-Foot speed looked excellent early, with all the defensive backs moving fluidly through their first small cone drills. Once again, ball security was good, even as the contact drills began.
-Delmas was moving well for the second camp day in a row, looking sharp moving side to side and forward and back.
-The wide receivers, working from the other sideline, were still practicing well. Calvin Johnson was in his normal form today, making a few solid catches over the shoulder.
-Michael Williams was being used plenty in a receiving role today and didn't look bad at all. He can be a blocking threat as well as a catching threat, making him a more diversified weapon than many assume.
-Darius Slay showed well going against the first team offense, making a nice pass breakup on Nate Burleson, quickly and excitedly clapping his hands after the fact.
-Mostly, more short passes ruled the day, with quick slants going over the middle to several smaller, speedy wide receivers. Patrick Edwards, Michael Spurlock, Mike Thomas and even Johnson got into the slant act early.
-Underneath routes to Reggie Bush looked good, with Bush's acceleration and Matthew Stafford's accuracy being key on the outside. Watch for these plenty in the red zone, as Bush scored in such an occasion during 7 on 7 drills later on.
Special Teams Work Outs:
-For the first day, kickers and punters got plenty of work in. Havard Rugland and David Akers started by pounding short field goals, first from tees and then with holds from punter Sam Martin and Blake Clingan.
-Akers, for the most part, kicked well within short yardage situations. He hit a noticeable wall practicing near the 50 yard range, however, missing three field goals in a row while throwing his hands up in frustration. Rugland excelled, with higher lofted kicks that easily cleared the netting.
-In live action, though, Akers quickly turned things up and moved on from his practice struggles, lofting plenty of field goals through the uprights with a full out rush on.
-Punting-wise, Sam Martin was fantastic, more so than Clingan. Off his foot, the ball makes a different sound and spirals high. He routinely was booting the ball down past the 20 yard line and also was impressive executing coffin corner drills and kicking toward the sideline.
7 On 7 Drills:
-Johnson was in full display, as Stafford worked him all over the field, across the middle and sideline to sideline, showcasing his strength and talent.
-A commitment to the running game was evident. with the first two plays being rushes to Bush up the middle and off tackle. Bush bounced the first play out for a big gain. Later, Steven Miller was used in the same way.
-Williams, a tight end, was being used with the first team in a stand up, blocking role. With the offensive line more than a bit uncertain this season, perhaps the Lions wish to use more multiple tight end sets and stand up a player like Williams to give Stafford extra protection and boost the running game.
Play Of The Day:
-Kellen Moore, rebounding from his tough Sunday, fires a high pass to Joseph Fauria, who climbs the ladder to score over two defenders in the red zone. Naturally, Fauria celebrated with a big spike.
Numbers To Know:
2, Fake field goals ran by the Lions during special teams workouts. One was intercepted.
3, The number of consecutive misses David Akers fired from long range today while casually kicking.
12, The jersey number of Matt Willis, who made the nicest catch during 7 on 7 drills, snagging a pass in very heavy traffic.
Quote Of Note:
"We need 'em all, don't we?" -Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford's deadpanned, smiling reaction to the assumption the team needed Ryan Broyles this season. Stafford also said Broyles is looking good on the field coming off his knee ailments.
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