Training camp schedule update:
Today practice is open to Season ticket holders(sadly, still not able to make it). Tomorrow practice is open to the public at 9:00 and it is kids day - kids under 14 can get autographs after practice and teh first 300 get a mini football.
Very nice to see the action that has been taken with the fans (season tickets and general) overall since Millen left.
Cliff Avril signed his 1-year tenderDefense looks impressive
One of the most impressive aspects to practice today was how the defensive players were so quick with their recognition and reaction. Throughout the team drills, defenders were responding quickly and on their marks as soon as the ball or ballcarrier arrived.
Safety Amari Spievey continues to look good and is playing with a lot of confidence. Linebacker DeAndre Levy looks like a seasoned veteran the way he's moving around several of the young guys in the back seven are also responding well.
Fairly will stay busy
In a team drill that featured all third-down situations - mostly third-and-three, the Lions' offense struggled with consistency. Much of that was because of the defense, but the offense also made some mistakes.
Interesting take on Derrick Williams
A day after the Lions announced first-round draft pick Nick Fairley had surgery on his left foot, which he injured at Monday's practice, Schwartz was in a glass-half-full type of mood while assessing the situation.
"I look at this way," he explained. "(Fairley) missed all of the OTAs and all of the offseason work and things like that - now he has a chance to make all that stuff back up. He can get all the classroom work; he can get a good base; he can lift. He can do all those things.
It would appear that if Williams, a third-round pick three years ago, will have to make a convincing case. It's likely that Detroit's top five receivers are set - Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Rashied Davis and Stefan Logan. Davis and Young are superior special teams players so there's almost no chance Williams can unseat one of them (particularly Logan).
At running back, there are some questions about that No. 5 running back spot. Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure are on the team and Detroit should keep its only true fullback in Jerome Felton. That leaves two spots and one of those (if not both) could be filled by Maurice Morris or Aaron Brown. It's more likely Schwartz will choose between those two and we're down to one final position.
Here's where it gets a little tricky for Williams. While he's had a very strong camp in catching the ball and proving himself as a receiver, he needs more value so he has to step it up in all special teams. Even that, though, might not be enough. The reason is because that No. 5 running back will likely be able to do three things instead of just two. Guys like Joe Jon Finley or Richard Dickson or Preston Dial can play fullback, tight end and also contribute on special teams. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan likes having that extra punch in the backfield where he can move that tight end/fullback around for better matchups.
Jay Glazer was at camp yesterday - here is a tweet from him when asked how the Lions look:
Solid. Great weapons for Stafford. Less affected by lockout than many IMO
Breaking news as I type this, so no real link(s) yet. Mayhew speaking to media - here are some tweets from Jennifer Hammond:
-When asked if he was looking for depth at OT, Martin Mayhew said "We're looking for dpth across the board."
-"We're definitely building a team for the long term." Martin Mayhew
-"It does hurt him" Mayhew on injury situation to rookie DT Nick Fairley and the practice time he has/will miss.
-"It's time to stop talking about winning and time to start winning." Lions GM Martin Mayhew.
-"We're at a point where we can challenge for our division.". Mayhew.