Camp Notebook: Warford vs. Suh and Fairley; Jonte Green back and rookie excitement

Posted Aug 8, 2013

Larry Warford has learned a lot by facing Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in practice, rookies get excited for Friday's game and other observations from Lions' camp

Larry Warford has spent the last 12 practices trying to block Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. He's certainly a better player now than he was almost two weeks ago because of it, but quite frankly, the rookie guard is ready to hit someone different.

Larry WarfordG Larry Warford

"It's ridiculous how good they are," Warford said of Suh and Fairley. "I came here and I found out that I have a lot to learn by playing them. Since then I've gotten a lot better."

Warford started three seasons at guard in the SEC, playing against some of the most talented defensive tackles in the college game. But Suh and Fairley showed him rather quickly that he needed to get a whole lot better.

The Lions drafted Warford with the hope that he could fill their vacant starting right guard spot. He's split first-team reps during training camp, but head coach Jim Schwartz reiterated Thursday that the preseason will go a long way to determining that job.

For Warford, the ability to go against two of the most physically gifted tackles in the game has helped prepare him for moments like Friday night, when the Lions host the New York Jets to open the preseason.

"When you're doing really well in college you forget that you still have a lot to improve on," Warford said. "You kind of get complacent a little bit. I found that's what happened with myself. I got a little bit complacent and I got up here and the talent level just skyrockets. I found that out real quick."

Warford said he had to go back to the basics after facing the Lions' talented defensive tackle tandem and is excited to showcase what he's learned and hopefully impress some coaches along the way.


Jonte Green returned to practice Thursday for the first time since injuring a hamstring July 28. He participated in individual drills.

"Every player wants to get out there and every player wants to play, but you just (have to be smart)," Green said.

Jonte GreenCB Jonte Green

Green, who played in 15 games as a rookie last year with five starts, is competing for one of the backup cornerback spots. It's unlikely he'll play Friday, but Schwartz said he'd make the final call on that Friday afternoon.

"We have a couple of guys that are sort of coming back from some things, but we'll have the majority of our team out there," he said.

While Green was back, fellow cornerback Chris Greenwood remained sideline with his own hamstring injury. Defensive end Jason Jones (knee) did not practice, either.

A few starters -- safety Louis Delmas and receiver Ryan Broyles -- did not take team reps Thursday and their status for Friday's game is in question.


Ziggy Ansah, Darius Slay and Larry Warford were the top three draft picks for the Lions in April and will be making their NFL debut Friday vs. the Jets.

Here's what they had to say about their first NFL game action:

Ansah: "We are ready for tomorrow. I know it's a preseason game but we're looking forward to getting a win and seeing how well we are going to play together as a team. There is that extra excitement just being able to represent this city and this team and this franchise."

Slay: "I'm excited and I'm ready to compete against somebody else, man. See what all I've learned and have it pay off. I'm just ready to compete. I get to use some contact against somebody else. I'm ready."

Warford: "It's another game day and another chance to put the pads on against another opponent. It's been awhile since I did that. Do it with an NFL team for the first time in my life, it's exciting. I can't treat it any differently than I do any game. I have to be focused and I'm trying not to get too jazzed up about it."