The Detroit Lions took a collective deep breath at the outset of this week as the dust settled on this year's draft.
Nine players and many undrafted rookie free agents later, head coach Jim Schwartz and his coaching staff shifted focus to the current players participating in the offseason program.
This week marked the beginning of Phase 2 of the offseason program in which coaches are permitted onto the field during workouts.
All drills are limited to individual player and instruction. In other words, no opposition is permitted (e.g. cornerbacks cannot cover wide receivers) and no helmets are allowed.
The Lions say they have seen strong participation this offseason. General manager Martin Mayhew said before the draft that he guessed the team was "in the 85-to-90 percent range."
Next weekend (May 10-12), the Lions will hold their annual Rookie Mini-Camp attended by draft picks, free agent signings and try-out players. The first organized training activity (OTA) will take place May 21.
OFF THE FIELD
- Pro Bowl defensive tackle
Ndamukong Suhreceived a lot of press attention this week for his humanitarian work.
- Suh has joined seven-year-old Jack Hoffman's fight to raise awareness and funds for pediatric brain cancer. Net proceeds from a custom "Team Jack" shirt go directly to the cause.
- The Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation also donated $250,000 to the Grant Field and Track project -- an effort to install a new athletic field and synthetic track at his high school alma mater.
- Running back Joique Bell spent the day at Comerica Park with teammates
Mikel Leshoureand Bill Bentleywhen he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
- The Taste of the Lions event being held at Ford Field on Tuesday, May 7, has sold out of its VIP reception. The event will feature Lions players, coaches and alumni for meet-and-greet and autograph opportunities.
- More information regarding general tickets can be found on the Taste of the Lions page on detroitlions.com.
Nate Burlesonand Stephen Tullochannounced that they will hold their 4th Annual Celebrity Softball Game on June 8.
- Former Detroit LIons defensive end Sam Williams -- and original member of the famed Fearsome Foursome -- died at the age of 82.
ALL THINGS LIONS DRAFT
With some time to breathe following the chaos of draft weekend, Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara offered plenty of analysis regarding the Lions' 2013 draft class and how it impacts the roster as a whole.
- O'Hara declared second-year offensive tackle
Riley Reiffthe biggest winner following Detroit's draft.
- Twentyman took a look at how each of the nine picks will impact his respective position group in terms of position battles.
- Twentyman declared the Lions' need for an immediate impact from this 2013 draft class and he and O'Hara predicted how significant that impact might be.
- Having watched the NFL Network coverage during the draft, I was intrigued by the analysis regarding the impact the Senior Bowl is having on where players are drafted. Mike Mayock and Co. dig into why Detroit's pick of Ziggy Ansah at No. 5 overall had a lot to do with Senior Bowl experience.
- The Lions added length and athleticism in Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor and free agent signing
Jason Jones. Twentyman explores the versatility that will give defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham in 2013.
POSITIONS TO WATCH
- The Lions will see significant change on special teams in 2013 at all four key positions: kicker, punter and returners.
- Running back Joique Bell says he definitely wants to be in the mix for kick return duties.
- With a youth movement taking place along the offensive line, O'Hara says veteran offensive lineman Lomas Brown will have his eye on the development of that unit.
Make sure you stay tuned to detroitlions.com this weekend for great stories from lead writer Tim Twentyman regarding position-by-position battles and a feature from staff wtier Tara Altman regarding