Mon, 27 Sep 2021

TIM AND MIKE: July 28 practice observations

Detroit Lions
30 Jul 2021, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman & Mike OHara

Acclimation period: Teams are required to conduct the first four days of training camp in an acclimation period that looks more like an offseason OTA or minicamp practice with helmets and without pads and contact. Lions head coach Dan Campbell said this time is all about getting the players' legs under them before the pads are on next week. Campbell said players will get only about 40 reps between their three teams (first, second and third) and the starters will probably only see about 16 reps per practice. - Tim Twentyman

On the run: D'Andre Swift hasn't gotten a lot of mentions from the national analysts for what he might do in his second season. He looks ready to build on his rookie production of eight rushing TDs and two receiving. He made a sharp open-field cut in the team period for what would have been a big gain. - Mike O'Hara

Early run: The first team period of his first training camp practice saw third-round pick Alim McNeill lining up as the nose tackle with the first-team defense. McNeill ran with the first-team unit all practice. I asked center Frank Ragnow about McNeill after practice, and Ragnow marveled at McNeill's size and how much of a quick-twitch he had for a player that big. High praise for the rookie from a Pro Bowl vet. - Tim Twentyman

Quiet praise: Campbell is relatively quiet during practice, but a gesture he made to second-year wide receiver Chad Hansen probably meant more than words. Campbell gave Hansen a fist bump after Hansen had made a catch over the middle after getting open on a good cut.- Mike O'Hara

7-on-7: We got our first look at quarterback Jared Goff as he settles into camp and takes control of Anthony Lynn's offense. The starters didn't play a lot of reps Wednesday, but Goff was a perfect 4-for-4 in a 7-on-7 period midway through practice. He hit a couple short passes to wide receiver Tyrell Williams, running back Dedrick Mills and wide receiver Kalif Raymond, and he had an intermediate sideline pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson for a nice gain on what looked like a blown assignment by the defense. - Tim Twentyman

Footwork: Goff looked smooth and on balance in a drill where the quarterbacks moved up and back between some pads while keeping their eyes downfield with the ball in position to deliver a pass. All signs indicate Goff has prepared himself to have a big year running the offense.- Mike O'Hara

Versatility: Coaches loves players who can play multiple roles. A good example of that Wednesday was veteran offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby. He played some left tackle, right tackle and left guard at points in practice. Could Crosby push Big V for a spot at guard? Either way, it speaks to the depth and talent Detroit has upfront when a guy like Crosby can do so much for them as a reserve. - Tim Twentyman

Catching my eye: Two players caught my eye at practice Wednesday. Undrafted rookie cornerback Jerry Jacobs made a couple nice pass breakups. Also, tight end Alize Mack got some early run with the first-team offense and looked the part. - Tim Twentyman

Secondary starters: There's expected to be a lot of competition in Detroit's secondary for starting spots and roles. Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye manned the two outside corner spots most of the day with Tracy Walker and Will Harris playing safety with the first team. - Tim Twentyman

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