Lions Camp: Team Prefers Life in Pads

Tony Scheffler and Louis Delmas (Tim Fuller, USPW)

Earlier this week, the Detroit Lions had their first practice featuring live contact of the 2012 season -- and the only calendars that it was circled on belonged to the players.

ALLEN PARK -- Earlier this week, the Detroit Lions had their first practice featuring live contact of the 2012 season.

This event might not be circled on the calendars of fans but is something the players seem to welcome with open arms.

"It felt good to get some pads on and kind of get out there and get at some of the players and loosen up," said tight end Brandon Pettigrew. "I think we had a good practice today.

"Guys are pretty amped to get out there. They turn the music on in the locker room and everybody is all rowdy, getting juiced up. They wait for that first period and they get it on. Guys can't wait to get it on and see who's going to do what."

There are obvious benefits to padded practices, including a more realistic simulation of game day action. It also offers another added benefit.

"We know the pads are coming on because we see the schedule," said wide receiver Nate Burleson. "So leading up to it, you have two days of talking trash with the defense. We go back and forth. We know when the live periods are coming so you'll see the practice kind of take a spike when the coach says ‘alright, these next six plays are live'.

Continued Burleson, "For us, we get to put some tallies on the board, if we get the best of the defense, we are going to talk about it until they get their next opportunity. It's the little things like that, that continue to make practice competitive - and with competition, there comes improvement."

When a team is that competitive amongst each other, you know they want to get it done even more on Sundays.

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