TIM & MIKE

TIM AND MIKE: Lions-Colts Day 1 practice observations

Posted Aug 10, 2017

Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara share their observations from the Lions-Colts joint practice.

Slay day: Darius Slay had a terrific practice Thursday. He had a nice interception off Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien along the sideline in a team drill. He stepped in front of the pass, juggled it for a bit, but was able to secure the ball and get both feet in bounds before stepping out of bounds. Slay recorded his second interception of the day later on a tipped pass. – Tim Twentyman

Double duty: Tight end Darren Fells has shown through training camp that he is more than just a blocking specialist, and he continued Thursday with a long catch down the right sideline. Less obvious, but just as important, was his blocking on a pass play. Lined up on the wing to his left, Fells blocked an outside pass rusher, then dropped inside to take on a linebacker. Two for the price of one. – Mike O’Hara

Sloppy play: Detroit’s pass catchers, from the receivers, to the tight ends, right on down to the running backs were very sloppy catching the football. Too many balls hit the ground for the Lions' offense on Thursday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford even admitted as much after practice when speaking to the media. The Lions dropped 28 passes last season, third most in the NFL. They’ll look to be much crisper in the passing game during Friday’s practice. – Tim Twentyman

Breaking up: Rookie cornerback Teez Tabor showed the ball skills on a pass meant for Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton that were part of why the Lions drafted him in the second round. Hilton had Tabor beaten deep down the middle, but Tabor got a hand on the ball just as Hilton made the catch and stripped it away. It could have been ruled an incompletion or a fumble in a real game. – Mike O’Hara

Missing tackle: Right tackle Rick Wagner suffered an injury early on in practice and didn't return. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell didn’t specify what the injury was, but said Wagner should be OK. – Tim Twentyman

Makeup catch: It was good and bad for TJ Jones on successive throws to him. He had a drop when he was wide open over the middle, but made an adjustment while in midair to catch a ball that was slightly behind him.  So it goes in training camp. – Mike O’Hara

Going deep: The Lions are hoping to attack defenses down the field a little bit more in the passing game in 2017. The Lions showed that potential Thursday in a team period against the Colts starting defense. Stafford found Kenny Golladay deep for a completion and then just a couple plays later hit a streaking Golden Tate.  – Tim Twentyman

Camp Caldwell: It was easy to see and feel the high regard that people in the Colts organization still have for Caldwell from his 10 seasons (2002-11) as an assistant coach and eventually head coach (2009-11). He was very popular throughout the organization, as he is with the Lions. – Mike O’Hara

Tough day: Second-year running back Dwayne Washington had a tough day catching the football. He dropped one when he was wide open in the flat and another on a slant route in the end zone. That’s one area of his game in particular that needs to improve. – Tim Twentyman