Detroit Lions Training Camp: The Sunday Edition

Michael SuddsCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2010

ALLEN PARK, MI - AUGUST 05:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions catches a pass during training camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on August 5, 2010 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Hey Lions fans! Pour another cup of java and enjoy your Sunday morning edition of the Detroit Lions practice report. OK, so it’s Sunday afternoon. Break out the Kool-Aid!

A beautiful morning indeed with lots of sun, fun, and fans. A nice zephyr was blowing and the Lions fans were glowing.

I made it to my perch next to the VIP section. This is the best place to take photos of the players coming out of the locker room, and a nice spot to watch the individual drills.

After the customary warm ups Head Coach Jim Schwartz had the team take a knee in the center of the field. I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall. The coach was animated to say the least.

I went to the concession stand and asked the girls where the Kool-Aid and cornbread was. They laughed. Undeterred, I took my case to a higher authority, Lions President Tom Lewand. “Hey Mr. Lewand. Can I set up a Kool-Aid and cornbread stand?”

Lewand choked on his coffee (I think), and laughingly said that he would take the matter up with his advisory staff. Sure, Tom.

OK, so I’m not the greatest marketer on the planet!

Back to practice.

The Lions broke into their individual position drills. The “Big Uglies” hit the sleds across the field. I can only guess that the language may be a bit too colorful to work the sleds closer to the fans. Even from a distance you can hear the clang, clang, clang of the sleds, and the yelling of the linemen.

The one on one drill segment featured the defensive backs vs. the receivers. I sometimes think that Calvin Johnson is the only player on the field. He’s that dominant.

Some other guys stood out as well. CB’s Chris Houston, and Jonathan Wade have great speed, and are doing better than I could have ever hoped for. The newcomer at safety, Randy Phillips, continues to impress with his speed and footwork. I think he’s the real deal, folks.

I spotted St. Martin Mayhew with a clipboard. Probably not a good thing if you are a player on the roster bubble. He was standing with Lions VP of player personnel Sheldon White, and Tom Lewand. Another fly on the wall moment. I’ve gotta learn to read lips!

The players went into the seven on seven mode. Today, the Lions focused on “Red Zone” plays exclusively. I could see the dividends of the many reps in short yardage and check down plays that the Lions have practiced in camp thus far.

The offense looked crisp, and played at a high tempo.

The next drill was special teams de jour. Today’s work was kickoff returns and kick coverage. Derrick Williams and Aaron Brown never let the ball hit the ground. Brown, however, took too much time getting up a head of steam. Tim Toone, and Contrevious Parks were the “up” backs.

The guys in the wedge were Dan Gronkowski, Don Muhlbach, Jason Fox, and Willie Young. Young was getting an earful from coach Crossman after every rep. You’ve got to love those rookies.

My “Frag” order to myself today was to keep a close eye on DE Kyle Vanden Bosch. Personally, I think that he’s looked a bit lethargic thus far. He showed up today with a wrap on his right leg. Hmm. I wonder if he is dinged up a bit.

He did little to change my early opinion of him in today‘s practice. I’m pulling for him to have a productive season, but he better make me go WOW real soon. The old Jarhead is getting impatient.

Ah, Finally. Team drills. Today, the Lions started working some intermediate pass routes into the offense. Stafford was Stafford. Calvin was Calvin.

Nate Burleson made a great sideline move and created space against Jonathan Wade. Burleson has been punking the young veteran of late.

When Shaun Hill took his turn at the helm he was rudely greeted in the backfield by Ndamakong Suh, Corey Williams, and Cliff Avril. It looked like a classic jail break. Hill didn’t stand a chance.

Chris Houston continued to shine, as did safety Randy Phillips. I would be very much surprised if Phillips misses the roster.

Now, I’ve got some breaking news. Near the end of practice Sammie Lee Hill was helped from the field. It looked like the right ankle. He made it back on the field under his own power, but limping noticeably.

Miscellaneous matters. None of the 11 players who sat out Saturdays practice were available today. Ko Simpson was nowhere to be seen.

TE Brandon Pettigrew looks to be 100 percent.

QB Drew Stanton had trouble finding his receivers today. Horrible performance.

Jake Nordin and Tony Scheffler dropped TD passes. To be fair, Scheffler was under duress from Chris Houston.

Tim Toone dropped an easy sideline pass. Ugly bad.

No cracks in the Backus/Sims wall. Yet. This may be a function of KVB’s lackluster play.

That’s about it for today, Lions fans. Stay tuned for much, much more.


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