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TIM AND MIKE: August 22 practice observations

Defensive day: The Lions held an inter-squad full-contact scrimmage Tuesday as the team gets ready for their preseason finale Friday in Carolina. It was a great day of work for the starters as the No. 1 offense faced off against the No. 1 defense. The second-team offense went against the second-team defense and that's about as far down the roster as the scrimmage went. The defense won the day by a score of 63-27, earning points for stops and turnovers. – Tim Twentyman

Five who impressed: Who were five players who stood out to me during Tuesday's scrimmage? Running back David Montgomery, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, defensive back Brian Branch, linebacker Jack Campbell and running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Montgomery and Gibbs had the two lone touchdowns for the first-team offense. Branch, Campbell and Reeves-Maybin were all over the field for the defense. Branch ended the scrimmage with an interception right after making a key stop on a third and short run. His play since arriving in Allen Park has people pretty excited about his potential in this defense. – Tim Twentyman

Missing St. Brown: Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to rehab an ankle injury suffered last week in joint practices with Jacksonville, so he's not taking part in practice this week. There's a noticeable difference with the Lions' offense when St. Brown isn't on the field. He's quarterback Jared Goff's security blanket and one of the most reliable playmakers on offense. I had the first-team offense scoring on just three of their 10 possessions Tuesday without St. Brown. – Tim Twentyman

Elevation: Cornerback Cam Sutton had it when he made a play on a pass Tuesday. He got up in the air to knock down a pass. That play got applause from his teammates on defense. – Mike O'Hara

Thunder and lightning: The Lions expect the duo of Montgomery and Gibbs to be special in their backfield this season and Tuesday's scrimmage showed a little bit of why. Montgomery muscled into the end zone with a tough 1-yard run on the first offensive possession of the game. Later, he got the offense out of the shadow of their own endzone with a terrific cut, burst and stiff arm of defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson in space to get a big gain down left sideline. He let Gardner-Johnson know about the stiff arm, too.

Gibbs had a terrific touchdown run of around 30 yards (hard to tell standing behind opposite end zone) but he made a terrific cut and made a couple guys miss on way to being untouched into the end zone. He also made some nice plays in the passing game. – Tim Twentyman

Hit stick: Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez laid the hit stick on running back Craig Reynolds in the flat after he caught a short pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. It was a legal and clean hit where Rodriguez put his shoulder right in Reynolds' chest and took him off his feet. The play forced a field goal try which Parker Romo missed. – Tim Twentyman

Filling holes: Reeves-Maybin had a terrific scrimmage making a ton of plays for the second-team defense. We know he's one of the best special teams players in the NFL, but don't be surprised if he earns a specialized role on defense the way he's been playing the last couple weeks. He was in the hole to thwart runners all day Tuesday and didn't miss a tackle. – Tim Twentyman

On the run: The Lions are looking to add depth at running back, and Reynolds is a candidate. He broke a long run down the right sideline. The play stood out in a tough day for the offense. – Mike O'Hara

Playmakers: Gardner-Johnson had a nice interception off Goff on a ball that was deflected away from Gibbs deep down the sideline by linebacker Derrick Barnes. The ball popped up in the air and Gardner-Johnson came over and grabbed it making sure he had two feet inbounds.

Branch put an exclamation point on the defense's win by intercepting Goff on the final play of the scrimmage. These are two players who are going to make a lot of tackles and get a lot of hands on footballs. They are pure playmakers. – Tim Twentyman

Extra work: Goff and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta spent about 20-30 minutes after practice throwing and working on routes. I had LaPorta catching six Goff passes during the scrimmage but most of those were short, with a couple going for first downs. – Tim Twentyman

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