Jul 30, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) during training camp at Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Training Camp: Time to Put on the Pads

Today will mark the Detroit Lions’ fifth practice of training camp but this afternoon’s session will be the first in full pads.

The image that first comes to mind when the pads go on is a big increase in hitting. Jim Caldwell acknowledged there would be some more hitting in the padded practice but that isn’t what it’s all about. In fact, there are a lot of other factors putting the pads on allows him and the rest of the coaching staff to evaluate.

Caldwell touched on this point in yesterday’s session with the media:

It’s going to be a situation where we’ll do maybe a little bit more heavy hitting, but you get most of your work in this league in terms of tackling and taking guys to the ground during preseason games. That’s kind of where you get the majority of it. We’ll do some isolated things, but for the most part you want to see whether or not a guy can carry his pads, run in his pads in the heat. I like a little bit more heat. It’s starting to warm up, day by day of course. We need some particularly, for some of the games we have in warm weather. We’ll be challenged. Hopefully we can get acclimated, but that’s what we’ll be looking for. Can they carry their pads? Can they run behind them, use leverage and bend their knees? When fatigue sets in, can they overcome it and can they strike consistently? We’re looking for those things.

The trick for any player is to be able to maintain whatever flashes he shows on the practice field in shorts and jerseys when the pads go on. It’s the first step in identifying who is more of a workout warrior than a player who can really help you on the field when it counts.

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