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Detroit Lions 2019 OTA Day 2 observations: Teez Tabor rising to the occasion

With so many players sidelined, a few had a chance to showcase their talent.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Minicamp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions had their first team practice in front of media on Tuesday, kicking off the open portion of Organized Team Activities. I was among those there in attendance, so here are my observations from Day 2 of OTAs (Monday was closed to the media).

Participation notes

To begin with, three players on the roster were not in attendance on Tuesday. Darius Slay and Damon Harrison Sr. were both notably out, as they are seeking new contracts per the Detroit Free Press. In addition to those two, veteran running back Zach Zenner was also not present.

Additionally, there was a handful of players that were mostly working with trainers and did not participate in most team drills. Here’s a list in no particular order:

  • WR Marvin Jones Jr.
  • WR Kenny Golladay
  • TE Isaac Nauta
  • FB Nick Bawden
  • DE Trey Flowers
  • DE/LB Austin Bryant
  • CB Justin Coleman
  • S David Jones

At one point, Golladay joined the rest of the team for drills, but never actually participated in any that I personally saw. As for everyone else, there was not enough information for me to speculate on why they were sitting out.

At one point late in practice running back C.J. Anderson went down with an injury. He ended up walking off under his own power with a slight limp and did not return to the remaining 20-30 minutes of practice.

Offensive line/defensive line rotations

As noted earlier in the day, the Lions’ No. 1 offensive line looked like this (from left to right):

Taylor DeckerKenny WigginsFrank RagnowGraham GlasgowRick Wagner

As for the No. 2 offensive line breakdown, for most of the day it looked like this:

Tyrell CrosbyJoe DahlLeo KoloamatangiOday AboushiAndrew Donnal

So the move to guard does not appear to be in the cards for second-year lineman Tyrell Crosby, and as of now, Wiggins is ahead of Aboushi on the depth chart.

Defensively, the Lions were short two players on their defensive line with Snacks absent and Flowers working and sprinting with trainers. That left this starting lineup (left to right):

Devon KennardA’Shawn Robinson — Da’Shawn Hand — Romeo Okwara

No surprises there. As for Team 2, the Lions rotated several players throughout each role, but the most common second team I saw was something to the effect of:

Eric LeeDarius KilgoJohn AtkinsJonathan Wynn/Mitchell Loewen

I’m not going to analyze the play of the offensive and defensive lines, because the pads were off.

Teez Tabor rises to the occasion

With Darius Slay and Justin Coleman out of team drills, several Lions deep on the depth chart had the opportunity to make an early impression. Rashaan Melvin and Teez Tabor were your starting outside cornerbacks with Jamal Agnew in the nickel. While these defensive backs weren’t exactly going up against great competition—remember Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay were sidelined during team drills—Tabor played quite well.

For the second day in a row, Tabor picked off a pass—this time stepping in front of a Matthew Stafford pass, and running it all the way down the field for a pick-six.

(Note: Upon watching the highlights via, it appears the pass was actually from Connor Cook. This is a good reminder that many of the plays are seen from very far away and the personnel isn’t always obvious to see.)

Rookie check in

First-round T.J. Hockenson was heavily featured on offense on Tuesday and pulled in at least two touchdown passes, including a nice sliding catch on a solid pass from Connor Cook. He got plenty of time catching passes with Stafford, as well.

Jahlani Tavai was mostly playing middle linebacker throughout the day, but it’s hard to get a sense of how he was doing without any contact at practice.

I didn’t get many notes on any other draft pick—Austin Bryant and Isaac Nauta didn’t participate in team drills—although fifth-round pick Amani Oruwariye appeared far down the depth chart.

Special teams notes

The Lions had a brief session where players were fielding punts. Jamal Agnew is assumed to win that role in 2019, but Danny Amendola, Tommylee Lewis, Brandon Powell and Tom Kennedy were also part of that drill.

Play of the Day

Lions receiver Chris Lacy had the play of the day with a leaping touchdown grab over cornerback Marcus Cooper. A Tom Savage pass came up a little short, but Lacy essentially pulled an interception away from Cooper by elevating over him.

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