Camp Notebook: Guard competition, record number of fans and other camp observations

Posted Aug 3, 2013

The right guard competition will more than likely come down to the very end of the preseason

Another day out at Detroit Lions training camp practice and another right guard taking first-team reps with the offense. This time it was veteran Jake Scott.

Since releasing Stephen Peterman after the season, that position has been in a state of flux more than any other. The team drafted guard Larry Warford in the third round, signed a couple veterans in Scott and Leroy Harris and have a few backups from last year – Dylan Gandy and Rodney Austin – who've thrown their hats into the ring, all hoping to win the job.

A week into camp and nothing seems to be any closer to being settled there. It might take until the last day of training camp before a winner emerges. Everyone seems to be on equal footing right now and that's all they can ask for.

"I think with everybody here there's no entitlement," Gandy said. "We all see that everybody we're competing against is a good football player and we have respect for each other. We're just hoping for opportunities and then making the most of those chances."

Gandy has been here the longest (since 2009) but hasn't had any opportunities to start the last few years as the team backup at both guard and center because no one ahead of him has suffered injury.

"One of the hardest thing to do as a backup is to pretend you're going to play and trick yourself into thinking that you're going to play," Gandy said. "I'm really excited about this chance and I'm going to do what I can."

All of the afore mentioned names, except Harris (recovering from ACL), have taken first-team reps at some point in training camp.

"This is an equal shot and that's really all I can ask for," said Austin, who spent last season on the Lions practice squad.

Scott and Gandy have taken the most first-team reps over the first week, but it's still far from over.

"That's all that you want is an opportunity to get in there and show what you got and show that you can handle it," Scott said. "I'm just going to try and do what I do and just put out the best film I can put out over the next five weeks and just let them make their decision."

In the end, it'll be about consistency over a six-week span, according to head coach Jim Schwartz.

"You've got to avoid rushing the judgment on anything. All those guys are in the mix," he said. "I'd caution against judging who (is leading the competition) and things like that because we're looking for someone who is going to be consistent over time. Not a one-day of flashing the hand."


After the offseason the Lions have had and the way a few players have returned looking very good -- Nick Fairley and Bill Bentley to name a couple -- coaches are excited about the prospects for 2013. So too, it appears, are the fans.

Saturday's training camp practice in Allen Park hosted 6,034 fans, blowing away the previous attendance record of around 2,200.

Saturday was family day at camp, so in addition to practice, there was live music, face painting, a Lions bounce house, games for the kids and autograph sessions.

"They're excited for the same reasons we're excited," Schwartz said after practice.

"Our players enjoyed it. I think there's no coincidence that our spirits were up during practice. Our tempo was up as a result of having all the fans out here. I think that helps our guys push through days in training camp."

The Lions will offer one more family day practice before Sunday's practice; starting at 7 a.m. Practice is at 9:15.


The team continued to play shorthanded in the secondary on Saturday with safeties Louis Delmas (knee) and Amari Spievey (hamstring) and cornerbacks Chris Greenwood (hamstring) and Jonte Green (hamstring) out.

"There's no real update there," Schwartz said when asked about Delmas being out for a fourth-straight day. "We knew that we were going to have to manage it through. There's no difference from when we first opened up training camp. We knew there were going to be some times where we were going to manage it through. We'll just play it day-by-day with Lou."

The Lions were also light on the defensive line with Willie Young (ankle), Israel Idonije (leg) and Jason Jones (knee) sitting out. Idonije, though, was running after practice.

Receiver Devin Thomas remains on PUP with an undisclosed injury.


  • When the heat is up and the pads are on, there's a good chance for things to get a little chippy at practice. The intensity seemed to ratchet up Saturday more than any other day in training camp so far. There was a little extra pushing and shoving going on. Ziggy Ansah was at the center of one exchange when some offensive lineman took offense to an extra shove on running back Theo Riddick that put the rookie back on his butt at the end of a play.
  • Just a couple days after defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said linebacker Travis Lewis might actually be a better player in the middle, he was out taking reps at outside linebacker in his turn in the rotation with Ashlee Palmer and Tahir Whitehead.
  • Both David Akers and Havard Rugland were a perfect 4-for-4 kicking field goals today.
  • Don't be surprised if you see Ndamukong Suh and Fairley on the edges in certain packages during the preseason. The Lions have shown the look a few times in camp.