Aug 2, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) hands the ball off to running back Reggie Bush (21) during training camp at Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
My game plan was to finally attend a Lions training camp practice at Allen Park and write today about what I saw. I went to Friday’s morning practice, and came away thoroughly bored. This ain’t your grandaddy’s training camp. I went to a few training camp practices in the 70’s and haven’t been back since. Wow, have things changed. Apparently the team only practices in pads every other day, and Friday was a padless day, Boring.
The practice starts off with the different position groups in different sections of the field, doing warm up drills. The receivers were in front of the stands and everyone had out their phones, taping Megatron going through the motions. After that, there were 7 on 7 drills , followed by a few 11 on 11 team run-throughs. The kicking game should be better, because it seems like they spent half of the practice working on it. After that, there were some more drills and then the horn blasted.
From where I was, only a few players interacted with the crowd on their way off the field. I felt bad for all of the kids that brought souvenirs to be signed.
With the Detroit Lions first preseason game in this make or break season only four days away, lets move on to what I can’t wait to see on Friday night. What sets the tone for this team in 2013?
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE…
1. How Riley Reiff handles the outside speed rush. Is he quick enough?
Every body knows that the Lions desperately wanted one of those three highly rated tackles in this years draft. Time to find out how Plan B is working out.
2. Reggie Bush taking a flare pass in the open.
The Lions were 5-0 when Jahvid Best got hurt, and haven’t been the same since. Reggie Bush, used the right way, could be a Player of the Year candidate.
3. Glover Quin‘s style of play. His leadership, range and how hard he hits.
His acquisition was just as important as Bush’s. He has already established himself as a leader on the defense.
4. If Ziggy Ansah can contribute right away. How raw is he?
How quickly Ansah learns to be a force on the edge is a really really big deal. If he learns quickly, the defense will go through the roof.
5. Larry Warford’s SEC pedigree put to use. How long until he’s the starter?
Warford represents the Lions new emphasis on their running game. Lots of people are nervous about the newly vamped offensive line. The sooner he plays well, the sooner those fears are forgotten.
6. Who’s going to emerge as the receiver who gives Nate Burleson a break?
Somebody has to emerge as a second receiver in what looks like Burleson’s last year. Ryan Broyles needs to stay healthy.
7. Sam Martin, the punter drafted in the 5th round.
We’ve heard good things about his training camp, so lets see it in action.
8. Video viral sensation turned serious kicking prospect, Havard ‘Kickalicious’ Rugland’s leg strength.
Is his leg strength the stuff of legends or not?
9. The play of Darius Slay.
He’s the highest drafted DB in Martin Mayhew‘s reign. If he’s the real deal, that would go a long way in making this defense respectable.
10. Who wins the right tackle position?
Jason Fox has been groomed for this for quite some time now, and it’s his job to lose.