Friday, August 6, 2010

Lions Practice 08-06-10 am

Finally made it to my first Lions practice at Allen Park today. I got there about half way through the morning activities, roughly 10am or so.

As you can see from this picture below (which is a max zoom with my digital camera) it is very hard to see what all is going on. The practice area is a couple of football fields worth of real estate and the players can end up anywhere on it at any given time. They usually move around a lot to prevent damage to the grass.

When I finally got seated they had started Kick Return practice with the jugs machine doing the simulated kicking. First play I saw was #12 Derrick Williams field the ball and do some pretty good zig-zagging to mid field before they blew the whistle (without tackling you can never be sure if they truly would've made it that far or not). #17 Mike Moore was on the sideline in front of me slightly to the left and he was practicing catching the football one handed. He did about 10 of those. Never missed. Then it went like this:

#21 Aaron Brown fielded a kick.
#44 Jahvid Best fielded a kick.
#12 Derrick Williams fielded a kick.
#21 Aaron Brown fielded a kick.
#44 Jahvid Best fielded a kick.
#12 Derrick Williams fielded a kick.

Then the horn blew. (They use an air-horn to signal the end of a particular practice segment.) In my opinion, Derrick Williams ran the best after the catch but also was the only one to double clutch one of the catches. All 3 players were able to field the kicks and take off running though with no drops or major errors.

Next was some passing/defending drills. 7 on 7 or something similar to it anyway, slightly different then I've seen before, all pass plays. Now, during this I had to also deal with the crowd, some walking by in front of me, some talking on the phone behind me, and some yelling... like these dudes (the only 2 in full face paint).

The first play I caught in this session was a wobbly looking pass from Stanton to CJ that he easily caught. Then Stafford threw an incomplete pass but it may have been the wrong route by the WR (you just never tell about these things). Right after that Stafford completed a short pass to CJ in perfect mid-stride. Right about then #24 Jonathan Wade came off the field holding the groin area. I don't know if he was kicked, pulled a muscle or what. He never made it back on the field from there.

All the plays were from the same LOS which was 3/4 of the field away. This is what I could catch out of it:

Stafford to CJ... stop then go route for a nice run after the catch. Great throw.
Appeared to be Stafford dropping the snap (shotgun).
Someone (couldn't see who the QB was, think it was Stafford) threw a nice pass to #13 Burleson on a stop then go route on the other side of the field. I believe it was Houston who smacked the ball hard trying to strip it, Burleson held on.
Stafford to #85 Schefler after the first 2 reads weren't there. Great throw and catch.
#14 Shaun Hill to #21 Aaron Brown threw a short wobbly pass for the catch.
#14 Hill threw an incomplete (but was it on the QB or the WR????)
Noted Jason Hanson across the field (on field #2) doing stretching exercises already, his knee is wrapped but he's out there rehabbing already.
#14 Hill to (unknown) pass broke up, defended very well by I believe Houston (couldn't see number too well, so not sure)
#14 Hill to #84 Pettigrew on 2nd or 3rd read, late throw deep, Pettigrew missed the nice pass somehow (over his head a little but should've been caught). Looked big, looked fast to me... not sure he totally trusts his knee yet, maybe why he didn't "go" for the ball like he might otherwise have tried.
#14 Hill to #85 Scheffler on a nice throw and catch.
#14 Hill to #21 Aaron Brown on a short read and a nice shifty move after the catch.
Noted Houston again playing good corner... I don't usually catch how the D is doing unless they manage to intercept or knock down a ball when it's a passing drill, but I kept noticing Houston playing tight.

Horn sounded.

When #90 Ndamukong Suh and #99 Corey Williams stand next to each other you can't see the THREE people on the other side of them. This was an even stranger drill. No helmets now. Not full speed. Mostly run plays or fakes. I have no idea what they were working from 3/4 of a field away... There were a couple of runs to the right, then a fake run with a nice throw and catch behind the LBs to Pettigrew. After that there were a number of plays that didn't appear to do anything but they were working on something.

Horn sounded relatively quickly... shortened session apparently.

Still no helmets, some kind of passing drill, no defenders. On the field were #5 Drew Stanton, #16 Contrevious Parks, #18 Eric Fowler, #27 DeDe Dorsey, #46 Richard Dickson, #48 Don Muhlback at center, and #83 Tim Toone. After a couple of completions and actual movement down the field (unlike previous drills) Stanton spiked the ball... so it was a 2 minute drill then... Toone ended up catching 3 of the throws, none were incomplete or dropped, and it ended in the end zone (no D, not that hard, but they must've wanted some film on these particular guys).

Horn sounded (already).

Coach talked to them in the middle of the field for longer then normal at the end of practice and from there it was autograph time. Many players took time to do that, some stayed on the field and stretched or worked out with a position coach. The rest went inside. In front of me the kids (and some adults) were getting autographs from Canfield, Raiola, Peterman and Gronkowski. Further over were some of the WRs. Further yet was Delmas (he was the last to stop autographing .. he even allowed some fans to get their pic taken with him. The official autograph lines were long but everyone got one if they wanted it. Coach Schwartz even came over and signed a ton of things.

I looked for Killer but never found him. In fact, I didn't see anyone from the press that I knew so I split.

More tonight after the next practice but not until I get back from the Tigers game that I'm headed to following practice (if I have time tonight, otherwise it'll be around noon tomorrow).

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