The Detroit Lions are pushing through the dog days of training camp ahead of their first preseason game, and as they have done so, intensity remains high on the field.
On Thursday, August 3, the Lions got after it in their morning session. While their offense looked a bit sluggish at times overall, it was due mostly to the stingy nature of the team's defense.
Paced by linebacker Alex Anzalone and cornerback Saivion Smith, each of whom intercepted passes, nothing came easy for the offense most of the day. Watching the action, there was one player who stood out as perhaps the reason why this was the case overall.
Cornerback Cam Sutton, signed away from the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, was hard to miss. His passion was contagious. He had a penchant being all over the field himself, and showing exuberance when someone else got the job done. Notably, Sutton twice snatched the ball after defensive stops, punting it back in the offense's direction.
Alongside fellow free agent signing C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Sutton looks to be a tone-setter and leader for an improved Lions' defense.
Here's a look at some moe observations from on the ground at Day 10 of Lions training camp.
Detroit Lions kicker battle shaping up to be intriguing
When the Lions released Michael Badgley, many likely wondered if the kicking position would be in good hands. On Thursday, both Riley Patterson and John Parker Romo proved why that will be the case.
Both Patterson and Romo had accurate days. So far, there might indeed not be much separation between the pair in terms of their camp work. It's likely going to take the preseason to determine a winner in the battle.
Patterson may have a leg up due to his previous experience in Detroit and in the NFL. Romo cannot be discounted. He has a strong leg, and was the XFL's field goal leader during the 2023 season.
Maurice Alexander looks like a dark horse to be Lions' kickoff returner
Detroit's special teams has seen Kalif Raymond flourish as a punt returner the last couple years. But it's possible has a hidden gem in Alexander, who was an All-USFL player in 2022.
Alexander runs with purpose whenever he touches the ball, no matter if it's during a simple drill or taking a rep. He is tall and lanky, and seems dangerous whenever he's returning kickoff.
Last preseason, Alexander ripped off an impressive 61 yard return against the Indianapolis Colts. Don't be surprised if he does something similar this year, as he makes his case for a roster spot.
Denzel Mims looks impressive after trade
The Lions acquired wide receiver Denzel Mims in a trade with the New York Jets last month. He has wasted no time impressing his new team early on.
It's true that Mims looks the part, as he made several tough catches in traffic and showed some excellent body control doing so. The hope for Detroit is Mims can turn over a new leaf and provide some depth in the early-season absence of Jameson Williams.
With solid plays in practice, Mims is making the case to work his way up the team's depth chart for the start of the season. There's a way to go, but it's been an impressive start after a change of scenery.