Thu, 18 Aug 2022

TIM AND MIKE: Training camp Day 5 observations

Detroit Lions
02 Aug 2022, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman & Mike OHara

Team strength: Detroit's offensive line is supposed to be a strength this year. Monday's padded practice meant we got to see pass-rush drills against the defensive linemen for the first time in training camp. I thought the o-line won the day, and the first-team unit in particular dominated early on. I didn't have a defensive lineman winning a one-on-one rep against an offensive lineman until the 10th rep, when Charles Harris beat Dan Skipper. I thought Penei Sewell and Frank Ragnow were particularly dominant. Both of Sewell's reps were against Aidan Hutchinson. Backup center Evan Brown was also really good. - Tim Twentyman

Weight wins: The result should be predictable when a 335-pound offensive tackle makes contact with a 205-pound cornerback. That was the case when Sewell got Jeff Okudah with a clean block in a team drill in open space. That drew a big roar from fans watching. There was no damage to Okudah. - Mike O'Hara

Welcome moment: Welcome to the NFL. Welcome to padded practice. It was early in practice during a team period that Hutchinson got that moment. He was lined up on the edge ready to face Sewell, and wasn't looking for the chip that tight end T.J. Hockenson provided. It put Hutchinson on his butt, and after the chip Hockenson went across the formation to catch a pass on the play. I suspect Hutchinson will be looking for the chip next time Hockenson lines up in-line next to the tackle. - Tim Twentyman

On target: Quarterback Jared Goff had a good practice overall, and he was especially sharp in one 11-on-11 series. With the first teams matched against each other, Goff completed all five of his passes. He finished it off with a deep shot to wide receiver Josh Reynolds down the right sideline. - Mike O'Hara

Backup QB: I also thought Goff was really sharp Monday, but not so much for the backups, particularly Tim Boyle. He missed a wide open tight end Shane Zylstra and threw behind running back Jermar Jefferson in an early team period. It definitely wasn't one of his crisper throwing days. I still wonder if the Lions will add to the position before the start of the regular season. - Tim Twentyman

O'HARA: What we learned from first week of camp practicesCampbell buying stock in 'praying mantis' Josh ReynoldsTIM AND MIKE: Training camp Day 4 observations

Tackling technique: The team did a fun one-on-one tackling drill early in practice on the field near the stands with fans in them. A few highlights:

Running back D'Andre Swift is such a problem in open space. He juked and got by linebacker Chris Board in their rep.Pads mean more physicality, and we saw it in this drill. Jefferson lowered his shoulder and ran over cornerback AJ Parker, who was still able to trip up Jefferson on the way down.We saw our first hurdle of camp. Second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown jumped over cornerback Bobby Price and waved at him afterward. - Tim Twentyman

Hang time: Punter Jack Fox had plenty of it in a special teams drill. Three punts traveled 60 yards or longer in one sequence. One punt landed inside the numbers, near the right sideline. - Mike O'Hara

Instincts: Rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez continues to impress me. He has great instincts for a young player. He diagnoses things happening in front of him quickly and then just goes. He blew up a screen play and had a tackle for loss in a team period Monday. - Tim Twentyman

Early rapport: The best way to tell that a quarterback and receiver have good chemistry is how often the two are on the same page on back-shoulder throws. Those are the toughest throws to defend for a cornerback, but there's a lot of faith that goes into the throw for the quarterback. Goff and Reynolds hit on a big one down the right sideline late in a team drill with Okudah in pretty good coverage. It was just a better throw and a great rapport between a quarterback and receiver that have a lot of chemistry playing together. - Tim Twentyman

Catching on: Wide receiver DJ Chark is a good target because of his size - 6-4, 205 - and his speed that goes with it. Adding to the package is that Chark catches the ball with his hands. - Mike O'Hara

Never give up: St. Brown ran a jet sweep and out-ran the defense to the edge and looked to have a free run down the left sideline. Credit veteran safety DeShon Elliott for not giving up on the play. Elliott chased St. Brown 50 yards down the sideline and finally caught up with him to tackle him right before the end zone. - Tim Twentyman

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