After being away from training camp for so long, I felt somewhat out of football shape. Stiff hips, writers cramp and sore feet.
Not buying it, are you?
Today, I had the pleasure of the company of Tim Toone’s girlfriend, Tina. Lovely and gracious, Tim can really pick em! We enjoyed a beautiful morning at training camp.
I missed the warmups because I was talking with Lions WR coach Shawn Jefferson. Jefferson hails from Jacksonville, FL and is rightly concerned about the approaching hurricane. He lives on the water but, fortunately, has his family with him in Detroit.
Coach Jefferson said that today’s practice would be the first where the team would do some “game planning” for the Patriots game. He said that we fans can expect to see the first unit play much deeper into this week‘s exhibition game against the Patriots.
I asked Shawn if we would see a padded practice soon. He said that it’s extremely unlikely for some time due to the overall condition of the team and the restrictive new rules.
Jefferson admitted that without two-a-days, OTA’s and mini-camps it’s been a real challenge to get the players in “football” shape. He said that players are hitting the wall as usual but that they just can’t let up.
I asked about WR Titus Young. Jefferson said that Young would be brought along slowly, and his workload would be determined by the training staff.
More on Young later.
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch rested again today. I’m told that he has some soreness in his shoulder. RT Gosder Cherilus also rested his knee.
RB Jahvid Best (concussion) sat out another day. RB Maurice Morris hand) is out of the cast and rehabbing. OT Jason Fox is still in a walking boot.
WR Calvin Johnson (shoulder) was kept out. Nick Fairley, TE Richard Dickson, DE/DT Andre Fluellen, CB Alphonso Smith and WR Rashied Davis were also sidelined.
Seven on Seven
Stefan Logan, who did the individual position drills with the running backs, worked at WR exclusively.
Stafford looks sharp as ever. I don’t recall seeing Shaun Hill taking any snaps today. Drew Stanton was a step off in his accuracy today. Zac Robinson looked very solid.
Among the receivers, Aaron Brown, Stefan Logan, Maurice Stovall and Brandon Pettigrew really stood out today. Titus Young participated and looked pretty good as well.
Speaking of Young, he put his helmet on and forgot about those studs in his ears. The sheepish Young extricated the studs and turned them over to a glowering assistant.
You gotta love those rookies.
Eleven on Zero Walkthroughs on Offense
After a lengthy segment devoted to the punt units, the Lions did some walkthroughs in preparation for New England. Titus Young ran routes in this segment also.
Full Squad—Limited Contact
CB Brandon McDonald got all the reps at the nickel. It was good to see WR Demario Ballard back at full speed.
The Lions worked on some blitz packages, including a corner blitz by CB Chris Houston. Hmm.
Again, only Stafford, Stanton and Robinson got reps. After Stafford completed his work he ran some gassers with Shaun Hill.
Again, Stanton was mostly off target by a step while Robinson looked sharp. I just don’t get it.
CB Chris Houston jumped a route by WR Nate Hughes for an interception. Hughes had the presence of mind (along with decent position) to strip the ball away from the shocked Houston.
Houston went to the sideline, dropped and did the requisite pushups for his gaffe.
The “incidental” contact moment came when MLB Stephen Tulloch blew up TE Joe Don Finley on a crossing pattern. It looked like Finley ran into a brick wall.
Tulloch held up his arms in the “My bad?” position before helping Finley to his feet.
WR Nate Burleson provided the funniest moment of the day when Stefan Logan ran by him to get into position for the next rep. Burleson tackled him to the ground and held him there long enough that Logan got his ass chewed.
No respect for Logan, the mayor of Munchkin Land.
The trainers were ubiquitous today in their attendance to players who are rehabbing injuries. When Titus Young was not taking practice reps, he was accompanied by a trainer who made him jog from one sideline to the other, then walk back. This was repeated numerous times.
Another member of the training staff could be seen running with Calvin Johnson, CB Alphonso Smith and RB Maurice Morris.
The “dropsies” was endemic among the receivers today. All save Logan, Pettigrew and Derrick Williams were affected. I hope it was nothing more than a bad day and not a harbinger of things to come.
It’s hard to say whether QB Shaun Hill is in the dog house, hurt, or merely resting. Tomorrow should provide the answer.
DE Lawrence Jackson sure looks good in KVB’s place on the defensive line. I’d like to see him there in a game situation with the first team.
Tomorrow’s practice starts at 11:15 AM. You can expect my report by 5:00 PM.
Thursday will mark the final practice open to the public. Camp was tough on me this year. My hips are stiff and my "hammies" are killing me.
Mike Sudds is a syndicated Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Mike is also an analyst and correspondent for DraftTek.com.