Saturday Notes: Rookie Minicamp Has Begun

  • The Lions opened their three-day rookie minicamp yesterday, and it went pretty much as expected.  Rookies played like rookies, and we basically didn't learn anything.  I say that because this was the first time most of these guys practiced in months and because they are not in pads.  There's only so much you can learn from any practice without pads, but add in the fact that the players are a bunch of rookies and it's not surprising that there were lots of mixed reviews of many players. (For more pictures of the rookies' first practice, click the photo of Stafford and Linehan.)
  • One of those players is Matthew Stafford.  The general consensus is that he seemed a bit "anxious" and nervous at the start of the practice, and his play reflected that.  Stafford was just too excited to get back on the playing field and let some passes get away from him.  As time went by, though, he apparently settled down.  Like I said, there's not much you can learn from a practice like this.
  • By all accounts, one player that stood out was safety Louis Delmas.  He was anticipating passes, jumping on routes, and served as a vocal leader on defense.  That is good to hear, and it backs up what was posted in his scouting report.
  • The perfect example of how hard it is to get a solid impression from a practice like this comes from some observations of how DeAndre Levy performed.  Dave Birkett, while stating that he isn't going to read too much into Levy's performance, mentioned that he "struggled covering a running back out of the backfield twice today."  On the other hand, Tom Kowalski said that Levy "did a decent job" covering a RB out of the backfield.  So there you go.
  • Kowalski also mentioned that Levy and Zack Follett look a lot like Jordon Dizon based on "size and appearance."
  • One of Stafford's former teammates at Georgia, wide receiver Sean Bailey, participated in the rookie minicamp as a tryout.  He took one of Stafford's passes right off his facemask since it came in so quickly.
  • William Clay Ford made a rare appearance at the practice to most likely get a look at Stafford.
  • Paris Lenon's locker has now been cleaned out.
  • Larry Foote didn't show up to the Steelers' mandatory minicamp on Friday.  That is no surprise, though, as Foote and head coach Mike Tomlin agreed that he shouldn't attend the camp.  I imagine this is partly because the Steelers don't want him to get injured in case a trade is close to happening and because he is simply going to be released if no trade happens.  Why waste his time and why have him waste the Steelers' time?
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