Detroit Lions Training Camp: Tuesday at Two-Twenty-Two

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Detroit Lions Training Camp: Tuesday at Two-Twenty-Two
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Two-twenty-two Republic Drive, that is. The Detroit Lions headquarters and training camp facility. It was sunny, with temps in the low 60s.

I headed to my usual perch, and found it roped off by security. Two large bleacher sections had been moved from their usual locations and a smaller bleacher section was brought in. There were a host of pee-wee football teams on hand who were given the reserved seating. Nooooo!

I was hacked off (thanks, Marty Morninwheg). This severely limited my access to players and coaches. With all due respect to the pee-wees, I had to get some work done for my peepsters, didn’t I?

Lets do this!

Prior to stretching, the kick return specialists (Contrevious Parks, DeDe Dorsey, Aaron Brown, and Jerome Felton) were fielding kicks out of the “jugs” machine. These were obviously the up back guys (as opposed to outback guys, or beat back guys).

At the same time, the punt return specialists were doing their thing from the other jugs unit. Derrick Williams was practicing his fair catches on the three yard line. He’s got that down cold, folks.

During stretches, the sidelines were littered with the walking wounded. To list them would turn this article into an injury report.

The team broke into individual position drills. The O-Line and D-Line players retired to their neutral corners to beat each other up, and do some agility drills.

Note: No animals were harmed during the filming of this practice.

The running backs were drilling on the gauntlet sled. Each player would catch a zinger from coach Sam Gash, fight off an assistant wearing large padded arm cones, and run through the gauntlet. Nate Burleson caught the first pass and went through the gauntlet yelling his head off.

This old Marine was touched by the gauntlet drill. It was reminiscent of bayonet practice at Paris Island. Ah, the memories.

I digress.

Sam Gash was screaming at the RB’s to get both hands on the ball. Did you hear that, DeDe? Ball security was the goal of the drill.

It was time for special teams du jour. Today, it was field goal blocking, and defense. Aaron Petterey missed one of ten FG’s. On one play, the FG team ran a fake. Punter Nick Harris hit Tony Scheffler with a pass for a TD.

The guys were in shoulder pads and helmets only, so contact was pretty vanilla throughout practice.

The offense went into eleven-on-none, and five-on-none work. The QB’s all looked sharp today. It was good to see Mike Moore running full speed again.

The D-Line and what LB’s that were still ambulatory, worked on pass rushing and blitzing the tight ends, and running backs. I can safely say that Ndamakong Suh versus Jahvid Best is somewhat of a mismatch. Fans and teammates got a hoot out of that one.

I noticed a player wearing number 97. He wasn’t on the roster. I would find out later that he is DE Kory Bosworth. If that name sounds familiar it’s because he’s the nephew of Brian Bosworth.

TE Richard Dickson, and DE Jason Hunter had been released. Hunter, who finished last season as a starter, couldn’t make this year’s team. Linebacker Lee Campbell was re-signed, and looked lost out there.

It was time for the ever popular seven-on-seven drill. Rookie CB Amari Spievey looked more comfortable today, and intercepted a Shaun Hill pass intended for Nate Burleson. Spievey climbed the sky for it.

The vertically challenged CB Jonathan Heffney had a shot at another INT. His leap fell short of the mark, however.

CB Chris Houston has the toughest job on the entire team. Covering Calvin Johnson one-on-one is an incredibly difficult task. Houston’s play has improved as a result of this daily match up.

You fans of TE Dan Gronkowski will not be happy to learn that he dropped two easy throws. I don’t know if Gronk has issues with concentration, or has hands of stone.

Rocky paws is my guess.

The team went into full team drills. Also known as the Jahvid Best Show. Best had many good moments during practice, but the spectacular spin-a-rama move on DE Cliff Avril deep in the backfield was sick, sick, sick. Best easily hit the edge, and went to afterburners.

Mach two running, and fly by wire agility.

Eric Fowler made two breathtaking diving layout catches. It was great to see him contribute.

Matt Stafford fired high to Calvin Johnson in triple coverage. It was unfair. No contest. Our “Big” Johnson makes it all look so simple, it’s silly.

On to special teams, part deux. The Lions focused on kick off defense and offense. In this drill, the kicking team ran the field, while the return team, sans wedge, set blocking obstacles while holding blocking pads in front of them.

Special teams coach Danny Crossman ran the field with the kick team players, and screamed at players throughout. He would coach technique to players on both sides of the ball.

Crossman was like a tornado. A madman. Stan who?

This drill was run about 20 times. The players on the kicking team were totally drained after running what amounted to 20 gassers. Safety Randy Phillips was walked to the locker room, the apparent victim of dehydration.

The final team drill was the two minute offense. Matt Stafford completed four straight passes to cover the 70 yards. Burleson, Scheffler, Best, and Scheffler again for the touchdown.

Now, I promised you that I would give everyone the name of the player who the Lions have had an interest in.

It was Jarrad Page, the Kansas City safety holdout.

There’s nothing new to report on the Page front, but a couple of recent developments will impact the negotiations.

First, the loss of MLB Jordan Dizon has instantly become the most critical issue. The need for another LB trumps the need for a safety.

Second, the return of Louis Delmas and the performances turned in by C.C. Brown and Randy Phillips have diminished Page’s value to the Lions.

We have been speculating that the Lions could go after another disgruntled Chiefs player, LB Derrick Johnson. If the Lions go for both players, they would likely lose DT Sammie Lee Hill, and a TE. A draft pick might also be involved.

At this point, I honestly don’t know what the Lions will do. Whatever it is, I hope they pull the trigger soon.

Stay tuned Lions fans, I’ll be back tomorrow with another Detroit Lions training camp report.

 

Mike Sudds is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Mike is also an analyst and correspondent for DraftTek.com.

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