The Detroit Lions finished their ninth OTA practice on Thursday, and while the session was closed to the media, the team offered a few interesting notes via their multimedia group. Typically, the Lions’ official highlight reel and photos from practice reveal very little in terms of excitement or strategy, but Thursday’s crop of videos and pictures proved quite bountiful.
Matthew Stafford running the read option?
Yes, believe it or not, Stafford appeared to be running a version of the read option, where he faked a handoff and took off running behind the right tackle. He doesn’t get too far before a defender tracks him down, though. You can watch the replay at the 1:24 mark here.
While it’s unlikely that this becomes a staple of the Lions’ offense, it is very interesting to note. Stafford has never really been considered much of a running quarterback, but in 2016, he did take a big step in his mobility in the pocket. In fact, he set a personal best at 207 rushing yards last season.
Jared Abbrederis makes another highlight-reel catch
Abbrederis’ knack for making plays in OTA has been well documented. You can watch his one-handed catch from last week here, and he also had an impressive catch at the 55 second mark here.
Well, Abbrederis did it again on Thursday, making another leaping, one-handed catch:
@abbrecadabra pic.twitter.com/S5LkGjgFtd— Detroit Lions (@Lions) June 8, 2017
You can also watch Abbrederis’ catch in video form at the 18 second mark here.
It’s rare to see any player make this much buzz in OTAs. The real battle begins in training camp, but in nine days of practice, Abbrederis has put himself in a good position to really challenge for that No. 4 receiver spot when the Lions head back out onto the field in late July.
Teez Tabor notches another ridiculous interception
Okay, we’re not completely 100 percent sure on this, because there is no video of this play, but just look at how high Tabor gets to snag this ball:
Tabor elevates over Michael Rector
Obviously, we can’t know for sure whether Tabor came down with the ball, but the point is kind of moot. This is a display of Tabor’s athleticism and his ball-hawking skills. Tabor was the most criticized draft pick by the Lions, so it’s refreshing to see him starting to make plays in practice.