The Detroit Lions had their second day of work against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. While buzz has centered on rookies, established faces are showing up too.
Such is the case for linebacker Derrick Barnes. Drafted by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, he has taken a little time to find his way. But he may be ready to take on a big role.
No matter what was asked of him in practice on Thursday, Barnes looked the part. He looked good with the first-team, confident in communicating and moving with the same confidence.
Here's a look at some other observations as Detroit wrapped another week of practice.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson is just what the Detroit Lions' secondary needed
Much like Cam Sutton has given the team a boost with personality on the back end, Gardner-Johnson has managed to follow suit.
After a ferocious first day of practice against the Jaguars, Gardner-Johnson picked up right where he left off on Thursday--intercepting a pass and throwing the ball directly back toward Trevor Lawrence.
The Lions needed someone with Gardner-Johnson's talent and mindset. He's simply another key veteran poised to make a big difference for a defensive turnaround.
Marvin Jones looks primed to help the Lions
After the unfortunate injury news with Jameson Williams and to a lesser degree Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions could be feeling a bit desperate at wide receiver. Enter Jones, who came back to Detroit this offseason.
Early in camp, Jones wasn't making the biggest waves on the field, But in the second joint practice session, the ball came his way more and more, and his dependable hands showed up.
Even if the Lions make another outside addition or have a youngster step up and claim a spot, bet on Jones being a big part of the equation.
Lions and Jaguars should be commended for professional practices
While many celebrate some of the fracases on the football field during joint practice time, the Lions and Jaguars kept it professional this week.
There may have been dustups as well as good natured ribbing, and Thursday, a hard hit even led to the Detroit bench spilling over toward the Jaguars direction. Still, cooler heads always prevailed and there was little animosity between the teams overall when the dust settled.
Afterward, Dan Campbell and Doug Pederson shared a hug at midfield and exchanged pleasantries. It felt as if both teams were satisfied with what they were able to get done.
Joint practice is about not backing down in competition, but also getting quality work in. Give both teams credit for putting on a show this week with class.