TIM & MIKE

TIM AND MIKE: Lions-Steelers practice observations

Posted Aug 9, 2016

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

Methodical drive: The first-team offense put together a terrific 16-play drive against the Steelers’ No. 1 defense late in practice that ended with a 4-yard Cole Wick touchdown on 3rd and 4. Matthew Stafford spread the ball around to five different receivers on the drive, with Marvin Jones catching three passes. – Tim Twentyman

Riley’s world: Another training camp site, a fresh set of pass-rushing linemen to go up against – and another good day of practice for Riley Reiff in his shift to right tackle after three years on the left side.

Reiff started the one-on-one drill against the Steelers’ defensive linemen by riding the rusher to the outside and away from where the quarterback would have been in the pocket. Later, he neutralized another would-be quarterback harasser at the line of scrimmage. All in all, more good work by Reiff.  – Mike O’Hara

Star of the day: For me it was Lions receiver Marvin Jones. He was good all over the field Tuesday. He made a terrific back-shoulder catch along the sideline in one-on-one drills vs. Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell that included a toe tap to get both feet in. He beat Cockrell a couple times one-on-one.

The more I watch Jones, the more I appreciate the subtle way he’s able to separate himself from defenders and create space. He is covered one second and the next moment Stafford is fitting a ball into a small window Jones created for himself. – Tim Twentyman

Friendly trash talk: One of the most anticipated individual matchups was Lions cornerback Darius Slay covering Steelers receiver Antonio Brown. Brown beat Slay for a long catch, and both players had words after the play.

Slay complained – good natured-ly -- to the official that Brown should have been flagged for offensive pass interference. Good catch, Brown said, adding a warning: “I said we’re going deep today – every time.” -- Mike O’Hara

Join the club: Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo received his honorary membership card to the linebackers-who-Theo-Riddick-made-look-silly-in-the-open-field club. Riddick caught a swing pass in the open field and made one quick cut inside on Chickillo that left the second-year linebacker grasping for air and wondering where Riddick went. – Tim Twentyman

Voice of authority: One of wide receiver Marvin Jones’ good catches was a grab on the sideline. As he tumbled to the turf, Jones managed to get both feet down inbounds before his body landed out of bounds.

The verdict on the catch – legal or not – came from Lions play-by-play man Dan Miller with the call: “He got two down.” - Mike O’Hara

Not good: Lions cornerback Ian Wells went down with an apparent knee injury during non-contact one-on-one drills that head coach Jim Caldwell said after practice didn’t look good. – Tim Twentyman

QB pad: All 32 teams in the NFL run o-line vs. d-line passing drills in practice, but how they simulate the quarterback is a bit different as we found out Tuesday.

In Allen Park, the Lions have a pad suspended by a rope with a clip that represents the quarterback. The defensive lineman has to knock the suspended pad off the rope.

The Steelers simulate the quarterback with a remote control pad on wheels that rolls around at varying speeds. Honestly, I have to admit, it looks like it would be fun to be the guy who controls that pad. – Tim Twentyman