For the opening day of Detroit Lions organized team activities (OTAs), the local media was locked out. Sadly, that means we barely have any information regarding the team’s first real practice of the offseason. That’s ultimately disappointing considering how eager everyone is to see how Matt Patricia transforms this team.
However, we here at Pride of Detroit won’t just accept that we’re left with nothing to consume. We’re starving hyenas looking for scraps, and we’ll clean every bare piece of meat to the bone.
The Lions provided us with just a tad of information, as they usually do, in the form of a brief highlight reel and a photo gallery from Monday’s practice. If you want to do your own detective work, you can look for yourself here:
PLEASE NOTE: These observations are a very, very small piece of the puzzle. We’re only seeing a very small sliver of practice, so we’re going to try hard not to jump to any conclusions. Also, this is just the first OTA practice of the offseason, things are going to change over the next three months.
That being said, here are some observations we noticed with our very limited resources.
Frank Ragnow is playing left guard... again
During rookie minicamp, we noted that Ragnow was playing both the guard and center positions. With our first look at Ragnow lined up with the presumed starting offensive line, we only saw glimpses of him at left guard.
You can barely see it, but at the 0:15 second mark, Ragnow (#77) is clearly to the left of Graham Glasgow (#60), who is pulling to his right.
You can see the same formation at the 0:44 mark of the highlights, too.
Those are pretty much the only reps we clearly see the offensive line formation, so there’s no reason to jump to any conclusions here. But as we noted last week, the Lions started both of their last two first-round draft picks at the position they would assume from Day 1.
The Lions’ running back depth chart is completely unclear
If you’re hoping for some clarity on who will begin the season as the Lions’ starting running back, or who will get the most reps in 2018, the opening day of OTAs are of no help. In the highlight reel alone, we see Matthew Stafford hand the ball off to both Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. But we also see Abdullah catch a pass from Jake Rudock.
As for Kerryon Johnson, he makes a few appearances in the highlight reel: all of them with Rudock as the quarterback. That should come as no surprise for the rookie running back. Expect him to slowly work his way into getting reps with the first-team offense.
As far as I can tell, no plays involving LeGarrette Blount were included in the highlight reel nor the photo gallery.
The defense is a complete mystery... and that’s probably on purpose
In the Lions’ one-minute highlight reel, the defense is blatantly omitted. Any team drills that involved both sides of the ball were filmed so that only the offense was showing. The only time we got a clear look at defensive players was during individual drills.
Here’s what we do know: #98 Jeremiah Ledbetter and #90 Cornelius Washington worked on a blocking sled together (35-second mark). Jalen Reeves-Maybin played what looked like an outside linebacker position in a rep against a Jake Rudock-led offense.
And that’s about it. It’s pretty clear the Lions defense is the best-kept secret in town. But they won’t be able to keep the media away forever.
Odds and ends
- Based on a photo, it appears Golden Tate is taking reps at punt returner. This is not a big surprise, as Tate regularly takes punt returner reps in the offseason, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll take the job away from Jamal Agnew.
- Luke Willson appears to get at least one rep with the first-team offense in the highlight reel, as seen below:
The personnel in the play above includes Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick.
- Stafford does a good impression of The Fonz.