On Thursday, we posted some very, very basic observations from training camp based entirely on a photo gallery posted by the Detroit Lions after their first practice of the offseason on Wednesday. You all seemed to like it, as you clearly are as starved for news as I currently am.
So... let’s do it again.
The Lions posted another photo gallery of Thursday’s practice on their official website—which you can view right here. Again, the Lions did a pretty good job hiding any pertinent information about the team, positional battles or any type of scheme. Still, that’s not going to stop us from pulling out our microscope and going all Zapruder Film on what we’ve got.
Here are the observations we were able to pull from the 59 photos posted to the website on Thursday.
Editor’s note: Again, take all of these observations with a grain of salt. Not only are we dealing with ambiguous photos here, but they only represent one moment of an entire practice. One play or rep doesn’t necessarily accurately portray the entire practice.
Joe Dahl, starting left guard?
In photo 33, we see Matthew Stafford taking a snap from a center that is being blocked from view, but the left guard is pretty clear. Based on comparisons to Photo 39 (gray hoodie underneath jersey), we can reasonably deduce that is Joe Dahl.
It would obviously make a lot of sense that Dahl is starting there right now. He held that starting position last year, and the players that may challenge him for that spot are rookies that may need some time to adjust. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Dahl will be the starting left guard on Week 1, but it is noteworthy that he’s getting initial reps there.
In that same photo, we can also see that Beau Benzschawel and Tyrell Crosby are on the sidelines—not part of what is presumably the first-team offense. Additionally, Dan Skipper (#70) is repping as the scout team on defense.
T.J. Hockenson is doing stuff
Hockenson was left out of Day 1 photos, which isn’t a big deal. There are 80 players on the team. Hockenson and his grizzly beard did make two appearances in Day 2’s set of photos, In one, it’s just a photo of him standing there, not in action (Photo 35). But in the other (Photo 2), he appears to actually be doing a drill with a football tucked in.
There are questions about Hockenson’s health considering he wasn’t quite 100 percent recovered from his ankle injury two months ago. However, we’ve since seen video of him cutting routes, and there was an action shot of him running when the Lions were in the conditioning phase of the offseason. Also, he didn’t get placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which is as clear a sign as any that Hockenson is near full health.
- Jamal Agnew is still working with the offense (Photo 6), in case you thought it may be a “one day with the offense, one day with the defense” type of thing.
- Quintez Cephus has a funny catching face. (Photo 13)
- Hunter Bryant’s arms, though... (Photo 45)
- Danny Amendola with the one-hander of the day (Photo 1)