Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs spoke to the media Sunday via Zoom. Here are my 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah is "on a steady incline" in his development, according to Undlin, and he likes the direction the Lions' first-round pick is heading. Undlin said missing out on spring football hurt everyone, especially rookies like Okudah. All Undlin is asking is that Okudah continues to stay on a steady trajectory. We'll see what that looks like in terms of him starting or being a key reserve in two weeks when the season begins.
2. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked really good in the practices open to the media. "He's super dialed in," Bevell said.
Undlin agreed too, saying it's been good for his guys on the defensive side of the ball to be playing against Stafford and the receiver corps every day.
3. Undlin plans to be on the field on gamedays, calling plays and not in a booth. He said he's the kind of coach who wants to be on the field and in the mix with his players.
4. Rookie running back D’Andre Swift has missed more than a week's worth of practices with an undisclosed injury. Bevell admitted it's not ideal for a rookie who didn't have a spring to miss that much time. The reading of plays and processing of information is a big part of what Swift is missing, and it could limit how much the Lions use him early in the season until he gets up to speed with a full workload.
5. The Lions have a punter battle on their hands. Coombs says Jack Fox and Arryn Siposs aren't making the decision easy. He said they are neck and neck in four evaluation points and split in another two. It sounds like this is going to be a tough decision to make with cut-down day looming.
6. The Lions took part in a live scrimmage Saturday with tackling. Bevell said it was important for his guys on offense, especially the running backs, from a ball security perspective. The Lions had one fumble in the scrimmage, but they did recover it.
7. The Lions have split first-team reps between Okudah and second-year cornerback Amani Oruwariye through the first two weeks of camp. Undlin said Oruwariye is more than ready to play Week 1, if his name is called upon to start. Undlin said Oruwariye has looked like a seasoned veteran the way he's played in training camp.
8. Who has stood out the most to Coombs in camp on special teams? He said it's been safety C.J. Moore. Coombs joked that it drives him crazy that Moore calls him "sir," but that's just how Moore is. Coombs said he might have underestimated Moore to start camp, but he does everything right and has really impressed him.
View photos from Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage on Aug. 29, 2020.
9. Bevell seems to really like the talent and depth he has at receiver, not just from the returning top three – Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola – but also what he's seeing from Quintez Cephus., Marvin Hall and Jamal Agnew. There's a lot of options and different skill sets in that group for Bevell to scheme with.
10. The Lions cancelled practice last Tuesday and instead hosted a social justice demonstration in front of the practice facility. Undlin said what he witnessed that day was one of the proudest moments of his entire life. Undlin has played in some big football games over his career, but he has never been in a bigger moment than last Tuesday. He said it's something he'll never forget.
Coombs echoed those sentiments to end his media session, and said it was really powerful to listen to the players.