After a day off from practice, the Detroit Lions were back at it on Tuesday morning. If you thought they may jump back into an unpadded practice after sporting the shoulder pads on Saturday and Sunday, you’d be wrong. They were back out there and hitting each other during another long practice.
Here are my observations from Day 5 of Detroit Lions training camp.
Here’s a list of the all the players not participating on Tuesday:
- Devon Kennard
- Christian Jones
- Malik Carney
- Jonathan Wynn
- Da’Shawn Hand
- Austin Bryant
- Tommylee Lewis (PUP)
- Steve Longa (PUP)
- Trey Flowers (PUP)
- Darius Slay (NFI)
- Darius Kilgo (NFI)
- Damon Harrison Sr. (NFI)
Of the injured guys, Devon Kennard looks close to returning, and Austin Bryant looked to be a little more active than most of the guys on the sideline. Da’Shawn Hand didn’t do much at all and was sporting a heavy-duty brace on his left arm after suffering an injury during Sunday’s practice.
Returning to practice from injury was Mitchell Loewen and Marcus Cooper, who both appeared to be full participants on Tuesday. A’Shawn Robinson also returned and immediately got reps with the first-team defense. Romeo Okwara was dressed, but did not participate in full team drills. Newly-signed defensive tackle Mike Daniels also did not appear to practice much, despite being dressed.
Graham Glasgow continues to impress
Through five days of practice, I don’t think any offensive lineman has impressed more than Graham Glasgow. The Lions were back to their 1A offensive line lineup (Decker, Wiggins, Ragnow, Glasgow, Wagner), and Glasgow continued to show that his move to right guard should be seamless this year.
His best play on Tuesday came on positional drill in which he and Rick Wagner had to deal with a pair of stunting pass rushers. The handoff between the two was so smooth and effortless, in stark contrast to the second and third team, who both struggled in the same drill. Particularly, UDFAs Ryan Pope and Beau Benzschawel really struggled in the drill, as they have all camp.
Taylor Decker and Kenny Wiggins had a good rep, as well, but Decker also had a false start that had him running a lap.
Jahlani Tavai’s INT = Play of the Day
.@tavai31 with the vision and the interception. pic.twitter.com/0TXM6g2Rra— Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 30, 2019
For the second time this offseason, Tavai made the play of practice. This time, he stepped in front of a Matthew Stafford red-zone pass, tipped it to himself and took it the other way. What isn’t shown in the video above is Stafford attempting to tackle Tavai, only for the rookie linebacker to shake him off and send Stafford to the ground.
Tavai’s interception is eerily similar to this one from OTAs:
A look at Jahlani Tavai's INT in practice today pic.twitter.com/XTxbVcX586— Alex Reno (@alex_reno) May 24, 2019
At camp thus far, Tavai has shown just about everything: The ability to pass rush off the edge, smooth coverage, and football smarts. For now, it seems Tavai is headed for a major role on this defense and he looks up to the challenge thus far in camp.
Keep an eye on Garret Dooley
The Lions are extremely beat up at the JACK linebacker spot. Devon Kennard, Austin Bryant, and Malik Carney all sat out team drills, which left the second-year linebacker out of Wisconsin out to get the majority of first-team reps. Dooley was added to the practice squad in the middle of the 2018 season, and the Lions liked him enough to keep him around again.
During Tuesday’s practice, Dooley showed good discipline by holding the edge on a third-and-1 drill, which allowed safety Tracy Walker to make the stop short of the sticks.
On the other side, Eric Lee continues to get first-team reps with Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara sidelined. He picked up what would’ve been a sack during 11-on-11s.
A brief note on the backup QB race
For the first time I’ve seen in all camp, David Fales got some brief time in with the second-team offense. I wouldn’t read anything into it, as Fales looks like a distant third quarterback on this roster. He consistently holds onto the ball too long, and he had a brutal interception thrown straight at Tracy Walker during a red zone play. At this point, it would be a shock if Tom Savage isn’t the backup quarterback in 2019.
Mandatory Teez Tabor update
It’s been a pretty quiet couple of days for Tabor, which tends to be a good thing for a cornerback, but Tuesday was a definite step down. For most of the day, Marvin Jones Jr. got the better of him, including an easy red-zone touchdown grab. This is still very clearly his best training camp to date, but this practice was a small, but noticeable, step down from his Week 1 performances.
Odds and Ends
- Another day, another forced fumble/incompletion from Miles Killebrew. This time, fullback Nick Bawden was the victim.
- Andrew Adams, who continues to get looks with the first team, struggled today in one-on-one coverage drills against tight ends. Jesse James, T.J. Hockenson and Jerome Cunningham all won reps against Adams. He did have solid coverage vs. Cunningham, but the tight end still made an impressive catch.
- Today may have been Kenny Golladay’s best day of camp thus far. He cleanly beat Rashaan Melvin twice in one-on-one drills.
- The Lions’ nickel corners, however, impressed on Tuesday. Justin Coleman looks like the only player on the team that can hang with Danny Amendola. Meanwhile, Jamal Agnew is proving to me that I likely underestimated his value as a defender.
- The Lions’ third-team defense had a rough go in some third-down drills. They started out with too many men, which sent the entire defense to do laps. After a stern discussion with the coaches, on the very next rep, the defense committed another penalty. Mitchell Loewen jumped offsides. Those third-down penalties will kill you and and drive your coach insane.
- Here were your kick returners from Tuesday: Jamal Agnew, Ty Johnson, Brandon Powell, Danny Amendola.