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Lions Training Camp: Notes On The Defense From Friday's Practice

May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) goes through pass rushing drills during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) goes through pass rushing drills during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

After previously taking a look at what the offense did on the first day of Detroit Lions training camp, it's now time to check out some tidbits on the defense.

Defensive End

  • Cliff Avril was the only player not at practice on Friday. He hasn't signed his franchise tender yet, and it's not clear when he plans to sign and report to camp.
  • With Avril out, Lawrence Jackson stepped in for him on the first-team defense.
  • The second-string defensive ends on Friday were Willie Young and Everette Brown.
  • It's good to see that Kyle Vanden Bosch hasn't changed one bit:

Defensive Tackle

  • There were no surprises at defensive tackle in terms of the rotation. Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams were with the first-team defense and Nick Fairley and Sammie Hill were on the second string.

Linebacker

  • Stephen Tulloch took part in practice. He missed the Lions' OTAs and mandatory minicamp earlier this offseason due to knee tendinitis, so it's good news that he was on the practice field on Friday. Apparently the time off served him well.
  • The first-team linebackers on Friday were no surprise: Tulloch in the middle and DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant on the outside.
  • The Lions' second-team linebackers were OLB Tahir Whitehead, MLB Ashlee Palmer and OLB Doug Hogue.

Cornerback

  • With Aaron Berry being released this week, the big question mark at this position was who would step in as a starter across from Chris Houston. While the regular season is still a ways away, Alphonso Smith stepped into the first-team role on Friday.
  • Rookie Bill Bentley was the first cornerback off the bench in the Lions' nickel package. In the Lions' regular alignment, Bentley served as the second-team right cornerback, and he stepped in on the first team when Smith tweaked something and briefly left the field. As you can probably tell, Bentley seems like he's off to a really good start.
  • The other second-team cornerback on Friday was Jacob Lacey. He stepped in as the first-team nickelback when Bentley came in to replace Smith, and it sounds like Lacey made some nice plays during practice.

Safety

  • One of the more interesting tidbits from Friday's practice was that Erik Coleman was with the starters at safety. Louis Delmas was the other first-team safety.
  • Amari Spievey was with the second string at safety, as was Don Carey.
  • In general, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham seemed none too pleased with the secondary's performance on Friday.

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