If you’re a hardcore Detroit Lions fan, you’ve probably read every possible observations from Tuesday’s joint practice with the New York Giants. You’ve probably read every piece of information from the Giants point of view, too.
But why take their word for it when you can view some of the most notable plays from practice with your own eyes?
Thankfully, both the Giants and Lions posted plenty of highlights from Tuesday’s practice to give you an overall sense of how the session went. Obviously, highlights from the Lions are going to be heavily skewed in their favor, and same with the Giants, but below we’ll provide both to give a balanced view of the day.
Let’s begin with the Lions:
Jahmyr Gibbs is fast
Gibbs had a big day with two red zone touchdowns in the receiving game, but nothing displays how big of a weapon he can be than him blowing past Giants starting linebacker Bobby Okereke. By the way, Okereke is no slouch with an 8.21 RAS and an impressive 4.58 40-yard dash.
Lions wide receivers have a day
I mentioned in my observations that Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond were unstoppable during one-on-one drills. Well, here’s that video evidence, starting with a pair of Raymond routes against Rodarius Williams and Nick McCloud (both reserves).
Birthday boy had 'em in a blender pic.twitter.com/e1Wg8yNWGm— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 8, 2023
And here’s St. Brown casually catching a back shoulder throw against rookie Deonte Banks to kick off one-on-ones (and then staring him down):
Another casual-looking play here from Josh Reynolds against Banks:
And don’t forget veteran Marvin Jones Jr., who is still the king of contested catches. Here’s a pair against old friend Amani Oruwariye and reserve Darren Evans:
Some promise from the interior defensive line
I didn’t get to watch any one-on-ones for the defensive line, but luckily the Lions provided a pair of extremely promising videos featuring Levi Onwuzurike and rookie Brodric Martin decisively winning a rep each.
Onwuzurike quickly dispatches Giants reserve guard Joshua Ezeudu, while Martin just immediate swims past third-string center Shane Lemieux. If they can show this type of talent against higher competition, the Lions may have themselves more young talent at defensive tackle than previously thought.
Another day, another Brian Branch highlight
That’s Branch going stride-for-stride with reserve receiver Jaydon Mickens. Branch has made a pass breakup in just about every practice thus far, and is has resulted in him getting the majority of his reps now with the first-team defense.
Alex Anzalone showing some pass defense
While I though the Lions overall had some issues in linebacker coverage, this rep from Anzalone on Giants star tight end Darren Waller was absolutely perfect:
The Lions also provided a full highlight reel of practice, which features more Gibbs goodness, a nice stepback move from Jameson Williams and more:
Darren Waller is a problem
Giants tight end Darren Waller was a problem for the majority of the day. Above, he beats safety Ifeatu Melifonwu cleanly enough that a throw behind him was still an easy catch.
Rare Giants breakup
It’s been a quiet start to camp for Lions tight end James Mitchell, and this moment won’t go on his highlight reel. Giants reserve safety Bobby McCain was all over Mitchell and forced an incompletion here.
A rare Starling Thomas V L
Thomas has had a fantastic camp, even putting aside expectations for an undrafted rookie. But on this play Giants receiver Collin Johnson got the better of him.
It’s not terrible coverage for Thomas but he either needs to get his head around to find the ball or play more aggressively through the receiver’s hands.
Saquon Barkley is good
While Alex Anzalone had the great breakup shown above, this one-on-one rep against Barkley didn’t quite go as well:
Lions reserve DL gets beat up by starters
Many of you may not even know of Lions defensive tackle Chris Smith—and undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame—but the Giants posted a video of him getting bullied by a double team block by John Michael Schmitz and Ben Bredeson—two starters.
You know practice was probably pretty bad for the Giants if a pair of starters beating up on a third-string rookie makes the highlight reel.
The Giants won’t let me embed it, but they posted a two-minute cut-up of practice that you can see here, which is mostly the highlights posted above, but also highlights some of Detroit’s run defense issues.