TC Notes and Observations, 1 Aug

On the third straight day of practice, the Lions are going to go without pads and end early. Matt Patricia says it’s a preventative measure to keep guys healthy. Coach Patricia also said they plan to work a lot of two-minute situations.

NOTE: tomorrow is a scrimmage at 4:30 EST

  • Brandon Powell working with the running backs on sideline drills.
  • Lions DBs working on shadowing each other across a line. Good for lateral movement.
  • Deonte Alexander with the first drop so far.
  • Tight ends are running deep routes with David Fales, who seems to be working on his timing. The best hes looked so far in camp.
  • Kenny Golladay has such soft hands, really contrasts when running deep routes with the group.
  • Will Harris plays a bit too deep in coverage, gives too much cushion so when tight ends break he has to make up ground. Has the speed to do it, but making his own life harder.
  • Tracy Walker with another great play in coverage. Hes gonna be a good one.
  • Isaac Nauta with a dropped pass, bounced off his hands.
  • Will Harris with a decent rep on Logan Thomas, got really physical with him. Gave up the catch, but disrupted the route and made Thomas fight for it.
  • Logan Thomas with a nice catch to fend off physical coverage from rookie S Will Harris at Lions practice. [different observer]
  • T.J. Hockenson beats a Lions defender in one-on-one drills in practice Thursday. Really crisp route from the rookie, indicative of what he’s done all camp.
  • Really nice catch by Jermaine Kearse after breaking free from Agnew. Kearse best play of camp so far. Full dive on the sidelines and toe-tapped in bounds.
  • First team notable names: Atkins at nose, Dooley at Jack, Okwara at end.
  • Kerryon just had a nice catch after beating Romeo Okwara to the edge.
  • Amani Oruwariye getting some reps with the 1s. Teez Tabor with the 2s.
  • Andy Jones with a nice catch, looks like Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin had a little miscommunication.
  • Chris Lacy beats Teez Tabor deep, but drops the pass.
  • David Fales with a nice pass over the middle, but Jerome Cunningham dropped it.
  • Nice break on the ball by Jahlani Tavai on pass to Ty Johnson. Catch completed, but only just
  • Miles Killebrew with a good breakup on Zach Zenner.
  • Less good play by Jahlani Tavai who lets one get past to his kryptonite, the fullback.
  • Whiffed tackle attempt by Jahlani Tavai. Rookie really struggling today. [Whut? In shorts?]
  • Miles Killebrew with another good break up. Though the route by Mark Thompson was really weak.
  • Sweet breakup by Jarrad Davis on CJ Anderson.
  • Teez back with the 1s. Amani with the 2s.
  • Rashaan Melvin jumps a route but drops the pick in team drills. [make the play, dude!]
  • Marvin Jones with a deep catch on Justin Coleman. Coleman got a hand in there, but you’re not usually beating Jones on those.
  • Holding on the defense after what looked like a breakup by Rashaan Melvin on Marvin Jones.
  • Amani Oruwariye has been playing outside with the ones on team drills over Teez Tabor…but he just got smoked by Marvin Jones for a long one. Bit on a double move from Marvin Jones. Gave up a huge TD on a 2-min drill. Big no-no.
  • Mike Ford with a forced fumble on I believe Chris Lacy during two minute drills.
  • Lacy makes up for it with a tough sideline catch a play later.
  • Deep pass to Lacy next, but too deep for him.
  • Tipped David Fales pass by I believe PJ Johnson.
  • Stafford to Jones in the end zone, broken up by Amani Oruwariye.
  • Mike Ford with a nice breakup in the end zone. Think it was Savage throwing and it was a little underthrown, but Ford went up to get it.
  • Oruwariye with a red zone pick on Golladay. Not a great throw from Stafford, but Oruwariye wrestled it away from Kenny.
  • Das ist alles

NOTE: 1 week from today is the first PS game

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Winners and Losers today, according to Kent Lee Platte:

Winner Amani Oruwariye - After one really bad play to star with the ones, he finished very, very strong. And it was against Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. He may have jumped Teez today, but not Melvin. I would wait until we see more, sometimes they move guys up just to see what they’ve got. He was very good with the reps he got today.

Loser Jahlani Tavai - Tavai has looked good most days in camp, but not this one. Really rough outing, especially manned up against RBs on breaking routes.

Winner Chris Lacy - Lacy looked good today. Mostly working against Mike Ford, Lacy won more of his reps than he lost and made a couple wow plays.

Loser Teez Tabor - Tabor had a rough day. Was it rough enough to get benched? I didn’t think so, but not great that Amani looked so good once he was there. May also be hurt, though. After he left, we couldn’t find him on the sideline. (Later: he’s okay)

Winner David Fales - Fales isnt making this roster and hes looked really, really bad before today. He worked on his timing with the tight ends early on the day and showed huge improvement. That would show up in team drills later in the day. Not a perfect day, but much better.

Loser Will Harris - Harris is playing well out of his comfort zone, and it seems like they’re trying to work out some of his weaknesses on purpose. It shows, though, and he struggled with depth of coverage throughout the day.

Winner Tracy Walker - Another great day from Walker, who looks poised for a serious breakout season. Got his hand on a lot of passes again today.

About Stafford: (KLP) - I wouldn’t say Stafford looks all that different than he normally does. Some great throws with some occasionally bad ones thrown in. Never been a flawless guy.
Stafford threw more picks than usual, but he still looked fine for the most part. Everybody has their days and this was his.

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Participation Report from Eric Schlitt,

The Detroit Lions held their seventh day of 2019 training camp and the linebacker unit appears to be the closest group to returning multiple players, including Devon Kennard and Malik Carney.

PUP/NFI list (no changes):

NT Damon Harrison (NFI)
CB Darius Slay (NFI)
NT Darius Kilgo (NFI)
EDGE Trey Flowers (PUP)
LB Steve Longa (PUP)
WR Tommylee Lewis (PUP)

No changes here and with the scrimmage scheduled for tomorrow’s practice, don’t expect any of the players in this section to be removed from their designation before Sunday.

Still not participating on Thursday

DL Da’Shawn Hand (brace on arm)
DT Mike Daniels
DE Jonathan Wynn
JACK Austin Bryant
LB Christian Jones
CB Marcus Cooper

Daniels continues to sit out practices with no clear reason as to why. He would have needed to pass a medical exam by the Lions medical staff in order to sign his contract. So, he either has a minor injury that they are aware of and are not concerned about, or he is being given time to learn the scheme from the sidelines where he has more immediate access to coaches.

Jones continues to work with coaches without his helmet and looks fluid in his movements. It’s unclear what is holding him back from participating but the Lions appear to be very cautious with him at this time.

After having practiced in full on Tuesday, Cooper has been back in this section for the last two days.

Changes/Additions on Thursday

JACK Devon Kennard had his helmet
EDGE Malik Carney had his helmet

When Romeo Okwara returned to full practices he did it in stages. First was group rehab workouts, then he was given his helmet and for the next two days, where he was with his position group doing minimal work. Then he returned to a full workload.

This is Kennard’s second day with a helmet and Carney’s first. With tomorrow’s scrimmage on the docket, they may not rush Kennard back for it, but it’s possible that both return next week.

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From Jeremy Reisman, PoD:

The Detroit Lions opted to take the pads off on Thursday, after four straight practices fully suited up. As the Lions prepare for their scrimmage at Ford Field Friday night, it was another bright, shiny day at Allen Park for training camp.

Here are my observations from Day 7 of camp.

Participation report:

There were no changes in the participation report from Wednesday. The following players remain non-participants during positional and team drills:

Christian Jones
Malik Carney
Jonathan Wynn
Da’Shawn Hand
Austin Bryant
Mike Daniels
Marcus Cooper
Devon Kennard
Tommylee Lewis (PUP)
Steve Longa (PUP)
Trey Flowers (PUP)
Darius Slay (NFI)
Darius Kilgo (NFI)
Damon Harrison Sr. (NFI)

That all being said, it was very clear that both Devon Kennard and Malik Carney were moving around pretty well with the trainers and should be back soon. Kennard had his helmet and went through warmups and stretches, but didn’t do much once the practice was in full swing.

After sitting out the final few team drills on Wednesday, Jarrad Davis was a full go on Thursday, so no concern there.

Arise, Amani Oruwariye. The 2019 Detroit Lions Name Bracket Champion—and Lions fifth-round pick—Amani Oruwariye split reps with Teez Tabor on the first-team defense.

It was a very up-and-down day for the rookie. He really struggled in one-on-ones against Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones torched him for a 50+ yard touchdown on a two-minute drill. This was an end-of-game scenario the Lions ran, and the one thing you can’t do at the end of games is get beat deep. Either Oruwariye tried to jump a double move or just fell, but he wasn’t within 15 yards of Jones when he came down with the catch.

However, Oruwariye finished strong, wrestling a ball away from Golladay in the end zone for a big red-zone interception. It wasn’t a great ball from Matthew Stafford, but wrestling the ball away from Golladay is no easy task.

It wasn’t a particularly strong day from Tabor either, so it looks like the Lions are still searching for their CB3. At this point, it’s safe to say that Rashaan Melvin is ahead of both on the depth chart… for now.

Jermaine Kearse starts to make noise

Kearse had an extremely quiet first week in camp, leading some to believe he’s sliding down onto the roster bubble. However, Wednesday’s practice was a big step in the right direction for Kearse. He made one of the best catches I’ve seen at camp this year, diving to pull the ball in and making sure his toes tapped inbounds before the rest of his body fell to the sidelines. He also had a clean beat and nice catch over Tabor in one-on-ones.

As guys like Chris Lacy, Andy Jones and rookie Travis Fulgham continue to have hot and cold days, Detroit’s search for a fourth receiver remains uncertain. I would still have Kearse in, and a day like today certainly helps.

Mike Ford impresses

While the rest of the Lions cornerbacks struggled—after an amazing day on Wednesday—Ford was the lone standout among the cornerbacks. He made a couple of good plays on Day 7, including punching the ball out from Lacy for an incomplete pass or fumble. Later, he had a really solid pass breakup on Kearse.

Ford is still repping with the twos and threes, so there’s a long road before I’d consider him a threat for a roster spot, but it was a big step in the right direction after what I thought was a rough start to camp.

Offensive line update

The Lions were back to their 1B offensive line formation, meaning it was—from left to right—Taylor Decker, Joe Dahl, Frank Ragnow, Oday Aboushi and Rick Wagner as your starters. Without pads, it’s hard to really judge the play of this line, but it appears the team is still messing with the combinations. As head coach Matt Patricia said last week, Detroit is simply trying to find the best five, while also cross training their players.

With the second team, we saw the Lions mix Luke Bowanko in and out of the center and right guard positions with Graham Glasgow. This is the second straight day Bowanko has been moved around, although most of his reps on Thursday were at center. He even got one first-team rep during 11-on-11s after Frank Ragnow was running a lap due to a pre-snap penalty.

Odds and ends

It hasn’t been a particularly good stretch of practices for Justin Coleman. Danny Amendola beat him handily twice today—once in one-on-ones, once in team drills. And Brandon Powell joined the party today, too. It didn’t get any better when lined up outside. Marvin Jones Jr. cleanly beat him during full team drills.

Nick Bawden is improving at long-snapping, ever so slightly. He had two passable snaps early in practice, and one even had a good amount of speed to it.

I saw another good rep from defensive tackle Kevin Strong, who continue to turn heads at camp. He likely would’ve caused a game-ending sack during Detroit’s simulated two-minute drill with the second team defense.

Miles Killebrew stood out among the linebackers in one-on-one coverage drills against the running backs.

While he was quiet during full 11-on-11s, it was another great day from T.J. Hockenson, who is having some seriously competitive battles with Tracy Walker. Walker is almost always blanketing him in coverage, and Hockenson is almost always coming down with it anyways.

Rookie Will Harris struggled in coverage against tight ends. He’s going to need some more time before the Lions trust him on defense.

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3 Standouts from Thursday’s pracice, from Jeff Risdon, LionsWire:

The Lions took the practice field on Thursday, Aug. 1 without pads. Players were probably happy about that, as the sunshine and lack of a breeze made for a hot morning in Allen Park.

Because of the lack of pads, the linemen didn’t get to do too much to cover. So the focus here is on three Lions players who stood out during Thursday’s drills.

Amani Oruwariye

Detroit’s rookie CB got some extended looks with the first-team defense on Thursday. Oruwariye rose to the occasion, looking very much like the player many draft analysts projected as a second-rounder before his unexpected plummet to the Lions in the fifth round in April’s draft.

Oruwariye uses his length very well in man coverage. He’s taller than most CBs but also has long arms, and he used that wingspan to consistently create tougher throwing angles and windows of opportunity for the offense. No. 46 did a great job of staying in system and not breaking his technique. His footwork — something he proudly addressed in his post-practice interview with reporters — was very good all morning.

It was not a perfect day. A long TD strike from Stafford to Marvin Jones came on his watch, when he turned the receiver over to a safety who wasn’t there. That’s a rookie mistake and a communication error, not an indictment of anything larger. The key for Oruwariye will be to make sure those don’t become a regular occurrence when he gets those prime reps once again.

Jermaine Kearse

Kearse had a great day, his best of camp. No. 18 made a handful of excellent catches, including a great off-balance catch over the outstretched arms of Teez Tabor on a deep throw. Kearse showed body control and excellent concentration on another pass, a timing route where the coverage was ready for the play. Kearse still made it despite the defender being right on top of him.

Consistently working with the second unit but also getting a handful of reps with the starters, Kearse appears to be a lot more of a lock to make the final 53-man roster than is typically mentioned. He doesn’t get enough acclaim for his presence on the Lions relative to other receivers below him on the depth chart.

Andrew Adams

The reserve safety continues to push for a roster spot by making plays on the ball. Creating turnovers is always a way to help that quest, and Adams did just that. Early in practice in 1-on-1 drills, Adams wrestled a contested catch away from TE Jesse James and came up with the ball.

Later on in the team drills, Adams blanketed Brandon Powell on a crossing route and prevented any realistic throwing angle, forcing a throwaway. What makes this better is that Powell broke completely free on a similar look a few reps later (and Stafford did not see him).

Adams has shown up around the ball a lot in the practices I’ve attended. He did earn a defensive holding flag today, but there are coverage instincts and closing burst to the ball that shows why the Lions were attracted to him as a free agent.

Honorable mention to WR Chris Lacy, who got a lot of work with the second-team offense and had four straight passes thrown his way in one series. Kenny Golladay asserted his will as the No. 1 wideout, too.

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From Eric Schlitt, LionsWire:

The Detroit Lions completed the seventh day of their 2019 training camp and the most notable depth chart change of the day was fifth-round rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye being exposed to first-team reps.

Oruwariye getting 1st team reps

Oruwariye began the day with the first-team but was rotating drills and series with Teez Tabor. It’s unclear if Tabor had an injury that he was dealing with as he participated the majority of the day but was held out of the 2-minute drills at the end of practice and was not seen post-practice and may have left the field early.

Regardless of a Tabor injury or not, Oruwariye’s rise up the depth chart has been very impressive. In the spring camps, Oruwariye began on the third team and has steadily seen his stock rise, passing Andre Chachere, Mike Ford, Marcus Cooper (and maybe Tabor) on the depth chart in the past seven practices.

In drills today, Oruwariye looked very comfortable running stride for stride with Marvin Jones but when he faced off against Kenny Golladay he lost (as almost ever defensive back does to Golladay in drills) twice.

When team drills opened up, Oruwariye continued to pace with Jones, but it wasn’t long before the savvy vet took the rookie to task on a double move where it looked like the rookie was expecting safety help.

To his credit, he quickly left the loss to Jones behind when facing off against Golladay two series later and that session ended with Oruwariye using speed and length to position himself in front of the receiver and make a back of the end zone diving interception.

“I just saw his split, being a little tighter,” Oruwariye told the media after practice. “So, I just played with my proper leverage and just worked on the technique that (defensive backs) coach (Brian) Stewart teaches me and just came down with the play.”

Oruwariye is beginning to show signs that he could very well be the steal of the draft that many analysts labeled him.

The rest of the defensive rookies

Jahlani Tavai continues to have a strong camp and looks like a clear starter moving forward, even when Christian Jones begins participating again.

Right now, Will Harris doesn’t look ready to be trusted in one-on-one coverage situations. Harris did get some situational exposure to the first team — taking the slot safety role and shifting Tracy Walker to single-high — but he is still very much still a work in progress.

Austin Bryant is still unable to practice due to injury but he is moving well in training sessions.

PJ Johnson continues to get second-team reps at nose tackle, behind John Atkins, with Damon Harrison and Darius Kilgo not practicing. He has more positional range than Atkins but needs more seasoning before he will get an expanded look.

After a few rough practices, Jermaine Kearse had arguably his best day at camp, landing on Lions Wire’s own Jeff Risdon’s three standouts from Thursday’s practice.

Kenny Golladay started camp a bit on the quiet side, but in Week 2, he has been nearly uncoverable. In addition to getting wins over Oruwariye in one-on-one drills, he also saw wins over Tabor and Melvin.

I have suggested the battle for the fifth wide receiver spot could come done to Travis Fulgham versus Andy Jones. Fulgham has been the better receiver while Jones has been more consistent on special teams. Both made very nice intelligence plays today, showing sideline awareness and ball location.

The last two practices saw the original starting offensive line getting reps together, leading me to believe they had finally settled on a starting five. Then coach Matt Patricia pulled a Lee Corso not so fast move on me and switched things back up again.

Joe Dahl and Oday Aboushi were back to getting first-team reps, while Graham Glasgow and Luke Bowanko rotated between center and right guard on the second-team. This switch occurred mostly at the beginning of practice and by the time they got to team reps they opted to keep Bowanko in the middle. After getting some snaps at left guard yesterday, then at right guard today, it appears the Lions are cross-training Bowanko to test his overall range.

2-minute drill

The Lions offense spent a lot of time in the second half of today’s practice working on their two-minute offense. The first session ended with a Marvin Jones touchdown. The second finished the same way (the double move on Oruwariye mentioned about), with another touchdown score by No. 11.

Things declined after that. The third session ended with a field goal from roughly 43-yards. The fourth resulted in the Oruwariye interception mentioned previously, and the fifth session was downright ugly by the offense and concluded with a turnover on downs.

Additionally, the offense also incurred false start/illegal snaps penalties by the offensive line that saw Dahl, Ragnow and Bowanko running laps.

Nothing was overly shocking from these 11-on-11s, there were penalties and overthrows that happen a lot in training camp but the positive here is, three of these sessions ended with stellar plays.

Special teams

Nick Bawden continues to get instructions on how to be a long snapper from Don Muhlbach. It’s worth noting that as a former quarterback he should be relatively capable of throwing a spiral but it was more of the same today with some improvement but a lot of inaccurate snaps.

Miles Killebrew and Charles Washington still look like the teams best special teams players but it’s going to be hard for this team to keep a special teams only player. The other side of this coin is, based on who the Lions are utilizing on kickoff coverage versus my 53-man roster stack projection, the numbers don’t line up.

I only have nine of the 20 players being used on the current two-deep rotation in my projection. Meaning, I may need to I need to clear at least one more spot on my projection for a player who excels on special teams.

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From Birkett, DetFreeP:

There’s not much doubt about how the Detroit Lions will line up in the secondary to start the season.

Darius Slay and Rashaan Melvin are this team’s starting outside cornerbacks, Justin Coleman will play in the slot, and Quandre Diggs and Tracy Walker are locked into starting jobs at safety.

But Slay’s absence from the first week of training camp (he remains suspiciously on the non-football injury list after staying away from the team all spring) has given the Lions a long look at some of their backup cornerbacks – and those cornerbacks an opportunity to catch coaches’ eyes.

Teez Tabor has gotten the bulk of the first-team work at cornerback, and on Thursday it was rookie Amani Oruwariye who worked opposite Melvin for a large portion of the day.

Oruwariye hadn’t done much to catch my eye in the first week of camp, but that changed Thursday.

Matched up against Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, he had a nice practice on a day the Lions went a little shorter than usual (about two hours) and kept their pads in the locker room.

The highlight of the day for Oruwariye was the interception he made on a Matthew Stafford pass to Golladay late in practice. Oruwariye out-jumped Golladay for the ball, but the play happened in the corner of the end zone a good 150 yards from the media bleachers so I’ll let him describe what happened.

“Just saw kind of like his split just being a little tighter, so just played with my proper leverage and just worked on the technique that Coach (Brian) Stewart teaches me and just came down with the play,” Oruwariye said.

A fifth-round pick out of Penn State, Oruwariye has all the physical tools to make a mark in the NFL. He’s 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, and he ran a sub-4.5-second 40-yard-dash at the combine.

Oruwariye played in a defense in college that didn’t use nearly as much man coverage as the Lions do, so he’s still very much a work in progress. But his competitive spirit was on display Thursday.

Along with his pick of Stafford – the third straight day now that he has thrown an interception – Oruwariye broke up a fade route to Jones in the end zone in some high red zone work and he mostly held his own in one-on-one drills.

Golladay did beat Oruwariye for a nice back-shoulder touchdown in one-on-ones when Oruwariye was late locating the ball, and Oruwariye slipped on a play where Jones ran wide open for a touchdown in two-minute work.

Overall, though, it was a good day for Oruwariye – one that should give Lions fans hope that, when the inevitable injury in the secondary strikes, Oruwariye might be able to step in and hold down the cornerback spot for a week or two.

• The Lions practiced without pads Thursday for the first time since last week, something head coach Matt Patricia said he wanted to do since it was players’ third straight day on the field and because a big chunk of practice was dedicated to two-minute work.

“A lot of running, a lot of situational teaching stuff, so we can do that at a pace without the equipment on,” Patricia said.

• The Lions used C.J. Anderson, not Kerryon Johnson, as their primary two-minute back with the first-team offense Thursday. I don’t know if this is a sign of things to come as they were mixing up personnel much of the day, but it was interesting to note nonetheless.

Jones, Golladay, Danny Amendola and Jesse James were the other skill players on the field with Stafford to start the hurry-up period.

• Johnson did get a chance to showcase his receiving chops in a team period early in practice. The second-year running back ran a wheel route on the first play of the period that went 74 yards or so for a touchdown. Romeo Okwara had no chance covering Johnson out of the backfield, and Johnson outran Melvin to the end zone.

• A funny moment at practice Thursday: During one-on-one receiver drills, Amendola caught a pass on Jamal Agnew then threw the ball towards a group of Detroit Edison football players in the crowd cheering him on. One of the players dropped the pass, and when Amendola went over to retrieve it he faked giving it back to the fan before tossing it back towards the line of scrimmage. The lesson: Don’t squander your opportunities, even if you’re a fan.

• A few other notes from those one-on-one drills: I know Amendola is this team’s slot receiver, but Brandon Powell still looks extremely quick in and out of his breaks. He shook Agnew with one move Thursday to get easy separation for a catch and ended the period by doing the same to Coleman. Golladay caught an easy back-shoulder touchdown pass against Tabor, Dee Virgin had a nice breakup of a Tom Savage pass to Chris Lacy.

• Lacy has helped himself in the battle for the No. 5 receiver spot the last couple days. He made a nice diving catch on a David Fales pass Thursday and has the size to be a factor in the red zone. He still has a long road to go to win a roster spot, but he’ll be worth keeping an eye on in preseason games.

• On the offensive line Thursday, Joe Dahl played left guard and Oday Aboushi right guard with the first unit. I don’t completely get why the Lions are rotating Graham Glasgow in with the twos so much. He should be on the field for every snap this fall if he’s healthy.

• One player who continues to get some work with the first-team defense, who I’ve failed to mention in previous observations, is linebacker Garret Dooley. The Lions need a backup for Devon Kennard at the rush linebacker spot and Dooley has gotten a long look the last few days. A healthy Austin Bryant is the best bet to fill that role – Bryant can play both outside linebacker and defensive end – but the rookie fourth-round pick is currently battling an injury.

• Others still dealing with injuries: Da’Shawn Hand, Christian Jones, Jonathan Wynn and Marcus Cooper, and Mike Daniels still hasn’t done much since signing as a free agent.

• Last thing: The Lions will hold their Family Fest and scrimmage on Friday at Ford Field. The doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the scrimmage will start at 6. Admission for the event is free, but you have to register online through the Lions’ website if you want to come. No practice Saturday, then the Lions will be back at it Sunday before the Patriots come to town for joint workouts next week.

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From Twentyman and O’Hara,

Reps with the ones: Rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye got some run with the first-team defense Thursday on the outside. He made the most of the opportunity. He made two terrific plays in the end zone that showed off his length (6-2, 205) and strength. The first was against wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. as Oruwariye had sticky coverage and forced an incomplete throw in the corner. The second he was in perfect position wrestling an interception away from wide receiver Kenny Golladay on a 50-50 ball. – Tim Twentyman

Tug-O’-War: That’s what it looked like – an old-fashioned game of tug-o’-war – when safety Andrew Adams wrestled the ball away from tight end Jerome Cunningham in a one-on-one drill. Both players tumbled to the ground after an apparent catch by Cunningham. They continued to tug at the ball until Andrews got up with it. Would a replay have overturned the recovery? – Mike O’Hara

Catch of the day: This honor goes to veteran wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who had two nice catches on the day. First was a diving grab going out of bounds. He was able to keep both feet inbounds while laying out for the catch. Kearse then went over to one-on-one drills against the defensive backs and made a terrific deep catch for a touchdown with Teez Tabor draped all over him. – Tim Twentyman

Official business: The officials have been at practice the last two days, and it was their turn Thursday to run repeat sprints on the hill that was installed this year at the north end of the practice fields. Players ran sprints on the hill Wednesday. Media next? – Mike O’Hara [wait, the officials ran sprints on the hill?]

Speed demon: With all the highlights last year of Kerryon Johnson stiff-arming defenders and running through would-be tacklers, we sometimes forget that he has a pretty good set of wheels, too. He showed them off Friday catching a swing pass and taking it down the left sideline, outrunning a couple defensive backs in the process. – Tim Twentyman

Jones time: Marvin Jones Jr. had a good two-play sequence in a team drill. He lined up left in the slot and got open on a deep cut to his right for a good gain. Soon after he caught a TD pass in the right corner of the end zone. – Mike O’Hara

Two minutes: The Lions ran through a number of two-minute situations Friday with the offense having to navigate the defense and the clock to get into field goal range for the first team period and needing to score a touchdown for the second team period. Stafford and the first-team offense got into field goal range and scored a touchdown on a long pass to Jones on a double move. – Tim Twentyman

Family Fest star search: Who will be the next young player to get noticed by making a big play in the training camp practice at Ford Field. There are a lot of candidates for Friday night’s practice, and they’ll have to do something special to match Jamal Agnew’s long punt return two years ago. He went on to make first team All Pro as a punt returner. – Mike O’Hara

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From Kyle Meinke, MLive:

ALLEN PARK – Matthew Stafford was so frustrated by the interception he threw to Jahlani Tavai on Tuesday that he tracked the rookie linebacker all the way down the sideline and tried to hit him.

It was an unusual play, because Stafford is in a red jersey that signals very clearly that he is not to be touched. Yet there he was, sprinting the other way to strike a 250-pound linebacker barreling down the sideline. Stafford bounced off Tavai and caromed to the ground.

Not exactly what you want to see from your franchise quarterback, obviously, both the pick as well as the hit after it. Stafford hasn’t spoken reporters since, so it’s impossible to say definitively what he was thinking, but it just looked like the frustrations of a competitive player boiling over after an up-and-down start to camp.

And it hasn’t gotten any better.

Stafford threw another pick to safety Tracy Walker on Wednesday, then yet another to rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye on Thursday. That’s three straight days worth of interception thrown to players who combine for exactly zero NFL starts. Two haven’t even played in a game yet. And Oruwariye was in his first day even taking reps with the first-team defense.

Now before you start sounding alarm bells, let’s underscore an important point: This is just training camp, and the second week of training camp at that. The Lions are also installing a new offense, and these are the days when they should be working out the kinks.

Think of it like a pitcher throwing 10 straight changeups in spring training. Sure, he might get shelled. But the numbers don’t matter. Getting in the work does, and being right for the season opener.

Interceptions happen this time of year. Especially when you’re installing new stuff, as the Lions are under Darrell Bevell, and when you have a bunch of new targets, as the Lions do in Danny Amendola, T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James. Even Marvin Jones, the longest-tenured pass-catcher on the team, is coming off an injury-shortened season.

Having said all that, it’s also true Stafford made three bad mistakes on those picks.

On Tuesday, he simply didn’t see Tavai lurking in the short field and threw the ball right into him. Good play by Tavai, no doubt about it, especially to control that tip enough to give himself a chance to catch it. But bad throw nevertheless.

On Wednesday, give credit to Walker for recognizing T.J. Hockenson’s route and jumping it during seven-on-sevens. But Stafford also threw behind Hockenson on the play, allowing for the pick to happen. A better ball wouldn’t have been intercepted.

On Thursday, once again, give credit to the defender for making a play. Oruwariye was in good position, and was able to yank the ball out of Kenny Golladay’s arms along the boundary of the end zone. Still, if that ball weren’t badly underthrown, Oruwariye would have had no shot at it.

What does all this mean? Very little right now, other than Matthew Stafford and the offense clearly aren’t ready for the start of the season. And with more than five weeks remaining until the opener against Arizona, that’s OK. But given this offense’s profound struggles last season, and Stafford’s inconsistencies on the deep ball especially, his progress will be closely monitored in the weeks ahead.

Here are some more observations from Day 7 of training camp:

– The Lions spent a portion of practice working on the hurry-up offense, and that didn’t go much better. There was one sequence where Stafford had Brandon Powell open on first down from the opponent’s 35-yard line, but overthrew him deep. He overthrew Jermaine Kearse badly on second down, then settled for a dump off to Zach Zenner on third down. Facing fourth down in a need-a-TD situation, he had Chris Lacy wide open – the defender even fell down – but missed him long. There were some bright moments for the offense too, like Stafford linking up with Marvin Jones for a long touchdown during 2-minute drills. But there was definitely more bad than good to take away from this practice offensively.

– Stafford wasn’t the only player making mistakes. There are NFL officials in town this week getting their work in too, and they’ve been busy throwing plenty of flags. Joe Dahl drew one for a false start, which wiped out a nice gain from Marvin Jones while Detroit was backed up against its own goal line. That’s a costly mistake in a game, and Dahl had to pay for it by running a lap around the opposing goal post.

– Let’s go back to Oruwariye for a moment. The fifth-round pick was quiet to open camp, but has come on strong in recent days. He even got a shot to rep with the first-team defense on Thursday, alternating with Teez Tabor at the spot opposite Rashaan Melvin. Oruwariye held his own, too, running stride for stride with Marvin Jones on a handful plays, including breaking up a fade into the end zone. He also picked off that ball intended for Kenny Golladay. Of course, Marvin Jones also got him with a double move later in practice.

I still think you’re not going to see Oruwariye play much defense this season, which is exactly what you want for a rookie cornerback. Darius Slay and Melvin look like the outside guys to me, with Justin Coleman on the inside and Tabor coming off the bench. But giving the kid a shot to work with the ones is a positive step in his development. I took a long look at him as he came off the field, by the way, and he stands every inch of that 6-foot-2, 205 pounds at which Detroit lists him. He cuts an imposing figure for a corner.

– When camp opened, I figured the backup receiver battle would be one of the best of camp. With Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola locked into starting jobs, you had guys like Jermaine Kearse, Travis Fulgham, Brandon Powell, Andy Jones and Chris Lacy fighting for just one or two jobs. But through the first days of camp, nobody really did much to separate himself.

Finally, someone has. Fulgham was known for his deep-play ability at Old Dominion, where he racked up 1,083 yards on just 63 catches yards last year, and he’s begun to flash that skill-set as he’s settled into camp. He just has very good body control and a knack for high-pointing the football. You can probably count on one hand the number of players in camp who have a better vertical. He beat Andre Chachere for a beautiful downfield score on Wednesday, and the only thing that stopped him from doing the same to Dee Virgin was a pass interference penalty. On Thursday, Fulgham separated nicely from Justin Coleman on a crossing route during one-on-ones. He also got behind Virgin on a route into the end zone, and nearly caught the ball despite expecting it to arrive on his right shoulder rather than his left. Who knows how the Lions decide to round out that receiver rotation, but Fulgham is certainly an intriguing developmental player to watch because of his upside as a big-play threat.

– I kind of assumed Jermaine Kearse was a shoe-in for one of the backup receiver jobs, given his experience in the league, his experience in this offense, and that $1.35 million contract Detroit gave him in the offseason. But honestly, he didn’t do too much in the first week of camp. He broke out of his slumber on Thursday in a big way, though, catching two nice balls deep down the field in the matter of a couple minutes.

– One more note on the receivers while we’re at it. There is nothing wrong with Danny Amendola’s foot speed, that’s for sure. Set to turn 34 this season, I’ve seen Amendola get behind the defense a few times this week. That includes once on Thursday where he just outran Jamal Agnew to the end zone during one-on-ones, and Jamal Agnew, by the way, is very, very fast. But the ball was overthrown (I didn’t write down who threw it, but it was probably Stafford) and fell incomplete.

– I wrote just yesterday about Agnew’s ball security issues in the return game after he put another on the ground. On Thursday, he did it again on kickoffs. There’s still a lot of juice in those legs, no doubt about it, but I have a hard time believing this staff is going to trust him back there if he can’t figure out how to catch the ball cleanly.

– Teez Tabor was coming off two really good days of practice. On Thursday, he took a step back. Jermaine Kearse beat him for a long touchdown during one-on-ones, then Kenny Golladay did the same thing. Tabor’s coverage actually wasn’t terrible on that second play, with aggressive coverage on the inside shoulder, but Stafford threw the ball to the outside and Golladay hauled it in for a touchdown.

– Kerryon Johnson has had his struggles in pass-blocking drills this week, but there sure isn’t anything wrong with his pass catching. He ran a beautiful wheel route to get behind Romeo Okwara, took a nice pass from Matthew Stafford and didn’t stop running until he was in the end zone. I still don’t know how the Lions intend to replace Theo Riddick’s production in the passing game, because you figure Johnson can’t play every single snap, but there’s no doubt he can catch the football when the Lions need him to do it.

– Your daily T.J. Hockenson update: He won all three of his one-on-one reps against defensive backs, beating Tracy Walker, Will Harris and Andrew Adams on consecutive reps to open practice. But he wasn’t the only tight end making plays. Jesse James beat outstanding coverage from Rashaan Melvin for one catch, then even better coverage from Harris for another. Harris was practically smothering him on the play and even tugging at his jersey, yet James fought him off for the catch.

– With all those injuries on the defensive line, Detroit spent much of Thursday rolling with Eric Lee, A’Shawn Robinson, John Atkins and Romeo Okwara up front. Among those still out are Snacks Harrison, Trey Flowers, Mike Daniels, Da’Shawn Hand, Austin Bryant, Darius Kilgo and Jonathan Wynn. Behind them, linebackers Devon Kennard and Christian Jones suited up but did not participate in team drills.

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Wonder if Patricia had a word with Stafford after practice about trying to tackle somebody when it don’t count. Uh, Matthew, we don’t need you to bust your shoulder in August, y’know?

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From Justin Rogers, DetNews:

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Thursday’s Detroit Lions training camp practice.

  • The Lions were out of pads for the first time since last Friday. With the emphasis off the more physical elements of the game, the team turned its attention to working on some two-minute drive situations.

  • Working with 1:10 on the clock, down four and about 65 yards to drive for a touchdown, the first-team offense sputtered. To be fair, quarterback Matthew Stafford was being to ask to run the possession without several starting weapons, including his projected top-three receivers. Instead, he was throwing to Brandon Powell, Jermaine Kearse and Chris Lacy, with Zach Zenner in the backfield.

  • A completion to Kearse across the middle gave the offense a fresh set of downs across midfield, but the drive stalled out when Stafford overthrew an open Powell deep down the seam, threw another over the head of Kearse, who was well-covered, and missed deep again when targeting Lacy.

-The second-team offense, running a different scenario where they needed an intermediate gain to set up a field-goal attempt, got the completion, but only because coaches allowed the play to continue after defensive tackle Kevin Strong barged through the line for a would-be sack.

  • Among the interesting lineup shuffling on Thursday, rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye got his first work with the first-team defense. A tall, long prospect, he’s shown a knack for getting a hand on the ball early in camp, nearly coming down with interceptions in two recent practices. He ended that drought in a big way during this session.

  • Covering Kenny Golladay in the red zone, Oruwariye stayed stride for stride into the end zone and was in position to make the interception when the back-shoulder throw from Stafford was under thrown. Oruwariye also did a nice job dislodging a ball from Marvin Jones in the end zone after the receiver beat him deep.

  • Despite the way it sounds, the day wasn’t all bad for Stafford. He displayed outstanding touch on a wheel route to running back Kerryon Johnson, perfectly floating it over the long reach of defensive end Romeo Okwara to hit the target in stride.

If executed the same way in a game, the play would have gone for 40 yards, at least.

  • The running backs worked one-on-one against the linebackers in a receiving drill, with the added twist of lining up split out wide. Johnson looked comfortable in the role, winning reps against both Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Jarrad Davis. C.J. Anderson also had plenty of success, getting grabs against Davis, Reeves-Maybin and undrafted rookie Tre Lamar.

  • Danny Amendola has jokes. After a reception during one-on-one work, the slot receiver gently tossed a ball into the crowd, aiming for a group of cheering high school football players from Detroit Edison Public School Academy.

Unfortunately, no one in the group was able to secure the ball and it fell back over the barrier separating fans from the field. Amendola swung by, picked it up and acted like he was going to toss it back, but kept it instead.

The lesson, drops won’t be tolerated at Allen Park.

  • Marvin Jones caught a couple of bombs from Stafford early in practice, beating nickel Justin Coleman for the first, before finding himself uncovered due to a coverage breakdown.

Regardless of how those completions come, that was an extremely important connection for the Lions during the 2017 season. The return of Jones as a deep threat could really open things up for the offense.

  • The nickel spot can be a tough one to evaluate during camp practices, but Coleman hasn’t looked particularly sharp in coverage to this point in camp. It could be rust or simply adjusting to a new scheme and surroundings. It will be interesting to see how he looks in the preseason, when we see how he fits as a puzzle piece into the big picture of the defense.
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From Chris Burke,

  1. TBD how many looks Danny Amendola gets, but if nothing else the WRs can benefit from watching his route running. His 1-on-1s have been a clinic.

  2. And on that note, a guy maybe seeing the effect … Brandon Powell kind of quietly has had a good camp so far. Not perfect by any means, but he’s been a tough cover. Really worked Justin Coleman with a stutter-step on a shallow cross today. Seeing looks in a variety of roles.

  3. Amani Oruwariye ran with the 1s (and had a pick of Stafford, after Marvin Jones burned him earlier on a double move).
    But Rashaan Melvin still looks like the No. 2 guy. Best rep: 1-on-1 vs. Jones, closed to swat a deep ball. Would like to see him get his hands on a few more.

  4. Sort of interesting to see C.J. Anderson with the first team during 2-minute drills today. Wouldn’t read much into it regarding Kerryon, but Anderson has been surprisingly effective as a receiving threat. Might be a knock on Detroit’s LB coverage, but it’s mostly Anderson.

  5. Perhaps (probably?) a good sign: Darius Slay, still on the NFI list, ran a handful of reps off to the side against Tommylee Lewis today. No rush getting Slay back, but I’m sure they’d love him at full speed by at least Week 2 of the preseason.

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