After a day in which the Detroit Lions looked like the better team against the Oakland Raiders in Tuesday’s joint practice, the home team looked to bounce back on Wednesday. For the most part, they succeed. Here’s how Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press put it in his post-practice Facebook Live.
“I thought the Lions, at least from what I saw, had the better practice on Tuesday, and maybe the Raiders had a little bit better practice today,” Birkett said.
So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what happened on Wednesday, by rounding up all of the observations from the media on hand in Napa.
- MLive: Lions training camp observations, Day 11: Tempers flare in final joint practice
- DetroitLions.com: Tim and Mike: Training camp Day 11 observations
- Detroit News: Lions camp observations: Second CB job still wide open
- Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions-Oakland Raiders joint practices takeaways
For whatever reason, everyone loves a good camp fight, and it sounds like Raiders fan on hand finally got one on Wednesday. No one was hurt, and it doesn’t even sound like punches were even thrown, but things got heated, and it’s unclear what exactly sparked it.
We got several different versions of the story online, but one thing is clear: Anthony Zettel and Joe Feliciano were involved:
And now sidelines have cleared between Raiders and Lions. Jon Feliciano fired up after a play. Chirped with DT A’Shawn Robinson. Next snap: Feliciano roughed up LB Jarrad Davis on second-level block. DE Anthony Zettel took offense. Sprawl began as fans chanted: “Raaaiders.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 8, 2018
We have a fight. Anthony Zettel comes over and hits Jon Feliciano in the back and Feliciano clubs him in the helmet and it was on. #Raiders— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) August 8, 2018
Things getting a little feisty here in Napa. Anthony Zettel took offense to what was close to a late hit on Jarrad Davis and a scrum ensued— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 8, 2018
MLive’s Kyle Meinke described it a little differently:
Jarrad Davis hit somebody late, or at least what Oakland players perceived to be late, and was lit up by somebody after the whistle. Anthony Zettel came to his defense, and a melee ensued.
There were no punches thrown, at least as far as I could tell, but there was plenty of pushing and shoving until the players could be separated.
Either way, tempers flaring during intersquad practices is nothing new or out of the ordinary. We’ll see if it spills over into the game on Friday.
Rough day for the Lions secondary
We’ve been praising the secondary all training camp, and they even picked off the Raiders three times on Tuesday. But Wednesday, the Raiders apparently fought back. It began with this toasty route from Amari Cooper on DeShawn Shead:
Of course, this is a drill in which the receiver should win every time. No wideout typically has this much time and space to get open, but no defensive back should get beat this badly.
But it wasn’t just one drill that marked a poor day for the Lions secondary. Here’s a montage of bad news:
From Tim Twentyman:
Darius Slay gave up a couple long touchdowns on short passes turned into big plays to Martavis Bryant and Amari Cooper.
“Teez Tabor got beat deep for a touchdown in 11-on-11 work by Martavis Bryant. The Bryant-Tabor matchup is one the Lions will have to avoid in the regular season as Tabor’s lack of long speed was evident chasing Bryant downfield.”
Connor Cook out here slinging dimes all over the field.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 8, 2018
There’s no reason for concern here, but for a secondary searching for a No. 2 cornerback, Wednesday seems like an opportunity wasted for some of the main candidates.
No Nevin, No Ricky
Speaking of No. 2 cornerback candidates, Nevin Lawson was not pratcticing today for unknown reasons. Joining him on the sidelines was veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois. Aside from those two, the regulars were the only ones who missed practice (Cam Johnson, Stefan McClure and Chad Meredith).
Frank Ragnow’s revenge
Throughout camp, Lions first-round pick Frank Ragnow has looked amazing. However, when Ragnow lost his first rep against the Raiders on Wednesday in embarrassing fashion, things weren’t looking quite as bright for the left guard.
However, he came into Wednesday’s practice having learned something, and looked much better accoridng to several different reporters on hand. I think Kyle Meinke described it best:
On Tuesday, he faced fresh faces for the first time -- and in his first one-on-one rep against Mario Edwards, he whiffed badly. He lost another rep later. Edwards was using moves he hadn’t seen before, in a scheme he hadn’t seen before. So of course he struggled. Then he watched the tape and talked to coaches, and today, he held his own in those drills. Ragnow got better this week, in ways he couldn’t have in an ordinary practice.
And that conclude the joint practices with the Raiders. The two teams will face off Friday night in each team’s first exhibition game. And not long thereafter, the Lions will be hosting the New York Giants for their own set of joint practices next week.