The Lions had terrific participation numbers for their voluntary three-day minicamp this week.
The nearly 100 percent turnout was important for head coach Jim Caldwell and Co. because the team now reverts back to the offseason training program schedule and the strict rules the NFL has about what teams can and can’t do around this time.
The minicamp, offered to the Lions because they have a new coaching staff, gave Caldwell the opportunity to run offense vs. defense drills and treat practice like he would in the regular season, minus the contact of course.
The team will begin Phase II of the offseason program next week. For the next three weeks, on-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separate” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
“Now we go back to phase two, where we have a limited amount of time on the field,” Caldwell said. “So, basically, we’re going to be working against air and in some times, inanimate objects, barrels and things of that nature. But that’s how we have to learn and the system is set up that way. We’ll be able to, I think, still accomplish a lot.”
Getting the three-day jump on installation with the ability to run full-team drills was invaluable, though.
“I try to learn what everybody’s doing at this point and help them out if they have questions, breaking the huddle or whatever it is,” quarterback
“By no means are we anywhere close to owning the whole thing, for sure. We’re just installing little tidbits of base stuff, but guys are working and trying to put their best foot forward.”