The Detroit Lions continue to work through the first official week of training camp in preparation for the 2014 season.
Here are some observations from this week …
- First round draft pick Eric Ebron has been busy. He has rotated in with the first and second teams on offense – even getting some time on coverage units with special teams. He continues to demonstrate outstanding fluidness, effortlessly running routes and getting open. However, he continues to be plagued by drops.
- One of the knocks on Ebron coming out was his drops, so this might be something Lions fans have to deal with. However, the rookie tight end is attempting to sponge off of some pretty good teachers: “Whenever he has issues, whenever something comes up (he comes to me),” said Calvin Johnson after practice. “Like, how do you place your hands, if he drops a ball he might say something to me. Whenever he’s outside, running the routes we run, he asks me (about) some of the footwork I use, I try to give him everything I can.”
- Speaking of Ebron running outside routes, it was clear that the coaching staff recognizes the skill sets of their tight ends. While Pettigrew spent some individual time working with the offensive line, Ebron and Joseph Fauria got some reps in with the receivers and quarterbacks.
- There has been a lot of interest in rookie defensive tackle Caraun Reid. Reid has good size and strength as well as the pedigree that comes with attending Princeton. Still, he’s a rookie and he’s clearly still learning the game. He didn’t standout much at practice and – during one of the individual drills – the rest of the defensive line watched as Reid and rookie defensive tackle Gregory Hickman lined up in a rushing drill. The defensive line turned this into a competition, attempting to identify who would get off the ball quicker. The result wasn’t even close with Hickman exploding off the line while Reid remained in his stance.
- Although this is far from news, Calvin Johnson has looked unstoppable. He couldn’t be contained by any of the defensive backs covering him and he racked up catches in both one-on-one and team drills.
- Second year tackle LaAdrian Waddle got first team reps with the offensive line on Tuesday after Corey Hilliard took them on Monday. The rest of the line remained intact and – save for an injury – the only battle for a starting job comes between Waddle and Hilliard.
- Reggie Bush has been very strong catching the ball out of the backfield. He made several big catches and even blew past DeAndre Levy, who was in man-to-man coverage, for an over-the-shoulder, downfield, sideline grab that would have resulted in a touchdown.
- Ryan Broyles looks comfortable on the field. He told me after practice on Tuesday that he has no limitations physically right now and feels the best he’s felt since college. He is someone to keep an eye on during camp.
- Darius Slay is another player who is looking more comfortable. His offseason of training seems to have paid off and he’s certainly the most physical of the Lions cornerbacks. He looks good early on. The Lions are counting on that translating into regular season success.
- The kicking game is going to need some work. During a hurry up offense simulation earlier this week, both Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio missed long field goals. Freese pushed his wide right while Tavecchio’s was hit down the middle but didn’t have the power to cross the uprights. For what it’s worth, Freese is the one who kicked after the first team offense’s drive.