The rain just couldn't keep away, but it wasn't enough Saturday to stop the Lions from taking the field for their first outdoor practice of training camp. After Friday's outdoor practice was shuffled inside, the weather threatened again but did not strike twice.
The Lions will be back to practice on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (and in pads for the first time), so let's get caught up on the biggest notes from Saturday.
The receiving corps apparently needs to work on catching the ball. This is analysis.
Several reporters indicated at least six dropped balls, with a good deal apparently coming from Jeremy Kerley and at least one from Dwayne Washington.
On the part of Stafford, he made strong several connections with Eric Ebron. Golden Tate also connected well, his sure hands on display for yet another year. Stafford also has shown to be getting in sync with newly-signed Anquan Boldin rather quickly, with Boldin making at least one endzone route catch that TJ Jones could not.
Punting and punting and punting
The punt return competition is now six men deep. Golden Tate has joined in practicing the activity (as he has been liable to do in years past), as has Ameer Abdullah, although Abdullah was still in a no-contact jersey in returning from his surgery.
It's unclear what will happen with the current influx of punt returners; if it is a matter of variety or just testing out the best options. Good to have options.
Down the corners
Darius Slay got paid and he'll be the first cornerback on any conceivable depth chart, but competition remains fierce for the rest of the corps. Nevin Lawson has shown considerable ability in the opening days of camp, perhaps penciling his name in to start. The Lions brought in Johnson Bademosi during the offseason, but he has not really been able to make his name just yet in practice; nevertheless, Caldwell claims that Bademosi gives the Lions depth on the outside and in special teams (indeed, the latter has always been his speciality anyway). "Not only can he add some depth for us at the perimeter, but also he adds a lot to us in terms of our special teams depth as well," Caldwell said after practice. Quandre Diggs, looking to start a nickelback, also had a decent practice.
Who's next to get broke off?
With Darius Slay taken care of, the Lions' negotiations turn towards others who are next in line to get their bread. While the negotiations for punter Sam Martin could be
extremely interesting, the focus is rather expectedly on running back Theo Riddick, who shattered the franchise record for receptions by a running back in 2015. His expanded role in the offense confers a good amount of leverage towards any discussions that may be happening in the near future.
Of course, negotiations are what agents are for, and Theo Riddick himself isn't thinking much of it while he prepares for the season.
Lions RB Theo Riddick, when I asked him how contract negotiations were going with the Lions: "Hey, whatever happens, happens."— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) July 30, 2016
The Lions had the exact same lineup as they did on Friday. DeAndre Levy and Don Carey remained on the Non-Football Injury list. Brandon Pettigrew, Corey Fuller and Corey Robinson remained on the physically unable to perform list and Ameer Abdullah still had his "do not touch" red jersey on. We'll see if he is permitted to perform in physical drills when the Lions move to padded practice on Sunday.