Detroit Lions: Monday Training Camp Report
A cool, overcast morning and a few raindrops fell on us fans awaiting the opening of the gates. A slight, refreshing breeze out of the Southwest.
The crowds have dwindled to about one-third of last week’s numbers.
Lame and Lamer
The trainers collected the helmets of DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, WR Calvin Johnson (who was massaging his right hammy) and Ryan Broyles. Broyles participated, but was very limited.
I didn’t see the dreadlock society—FS Louis Delmas and RB Mikel LeShoure.
Eleven on Zero: The Rob Sims Show.
Starting RG Rob Sims pulled to a variety of gaps along the line during offensive run-throughs. Sims is pulling more this season than at any time since his arrival in Detroit in 2010.
The Lions also took a long look at OG/C Dan Gerberry with the first team. He looked pretty solid at his RG snaps, but lacks the size of Peterman.
Seven on Seven Drills: Shaking Up the Defensive Back Seven
The first team back seven lined up with LOLB Justin Durant, MLB Stephen Tulloch and ROLB DeAndre Levy. Chris Houston was on patrol at LCB and Bill Bentley got the first-team reps at RCB. It was Erik Coleman at FS and John Wendling at SS.
Wendling is seeing an increased workload over Amari Spievey and is having a very good camp. I thought I’d never type those words.
The defense went to a lot of two-three-two nickel looks, using MLB Stephen Tulloch, CB Jacob Lacey and CB Bill Bentley in nickel roles. It appears that the Lions will show more Tampa-Two coverages, mixed in with their traditional cover-two scheme.
The back seven even worked in some four-two-one looks, bringing the SS up to a line-backing role in blitz and man-cover assignments.
The defense worked on a number of zone blitz packages as well. On one play, CB Alphonso Smith got his bell rung, but returned to drills after taking a play off.
Full Team Period: LB Travis Lewis Gets Some Personal Attention
It’s very unlike defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to single out a player for some, ahem, mentoring. Travis Lewis, the rookie Sooner LB got exactly that today. The coaches are very high on Lewis and are pushing him harder as we go deeper in camp.
For Lewis, it must have seemed like he had his own personal terrorist.
The defensive line was pretty much all the usual suspects (sans KVB), playing their traditional roles in the deeper-than-deep rotation. Poor Everette Brown. The DE who shined in the preseason game against Cleveland will find it all but impossible to snag a roster spot.
The only wrinkle that I spotted on the D-line was Ndamukong Suh playing at RDT, while Corey Williams played LDT.
LT Riley Reiff Gets the Load Test
Reiff was attacked in a number of ways today by the defense. He showed great patience in allowing the play to come to him. He was much better in his combination blocks with a LG, or a TE. He was also much improved at picking up his secondary assignments and blitz pickups.
Riley Reiff is rounding into a nice looking blind-side blocker, folks.
Quick, Crisp and Efficient
Today’s practice was the best of camp so far. Periods were crisply run with nary a player out of position. It was upbeat and hyperactive.
QB Matt Stafford never looked sharper and even Shaun Hill’s performance was impressive—he only sailed one pass today.
TE Tony Scheffler even toned down his Mohawk haircut. No multicolor splash for Tony. Does that mean that Tony is no longer toney? We’ll have to wait for opening day to see what Scheffler will surprise us with.
Speaking of tight ends, Will Heller is quietly having a super camp, as is RT Gosder Cherilus. Is it a mere coincidence that it’s a contract year for Gos, or will he finally return the Bozo Decoder Ring I loaned him two years ago? He used it to translate the snap count into Creole.
Wrap Up and Tomorrow’s Plan
Weather permitting, I’ll be back for my final training camp report tomorrow. Have a good one!
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