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TWENTYMAN: OTA Week 1 observations

First-team run: Rookie cornerback Terrion Arnold paired with veteran Carlton Davis III as the two outside cornerbacks running with the first-team defense for most of Thursday's open OTA practice. The Lions drafted Arnold in the first round with the idea of him competing for the No. 2 cornerback role. I didn't see him get challenged much Thursday, which is usually a good sign a rookie is acclimating pretty well.

Sitting this one out: Lions head coach Dan Campbell said before practice there were a number of players who were going to be out, limited or not at practice for personal reasons. Some of the bigger names not taking part Thursday were left tackle Taylor Decker, center Frank Ragnow, tight end Sam LaPorta, cornerback Brian Branch, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, defensive lineman DJ Reader, outside linebacker Marcus Davenport, linebacker Alex Anzalone, safety Kerby Joseph, cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. and linebacker James Houston.

Griddy: Third-year defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson busted out the Griddy after breaking up a screen pass in a team period on an instinctive play. I give the dance moves a seven out of 10.

Versatility on display: That's the one thing both GM Brad Holmes and Campbell talked about with veteran Amik Robertson after signing him in free agency. With Branch not taking part due to injury Thursday, Robertson played a lot in the slot with the first-team defense. He also played some outside cornerback. It's nice to have players with that kind of versatility, experience and skillset in the secondary. Robertson played over 100 snaps in the slot last season in Oakland and nearly 300 inside in 2022. He's played over 800 snaps on the outside over that span.

Uniform observation: Consider me a big fan of the new blue. It really stands out and the numbers are so much easier to read. That last part is selfish, but you all will like the blue too. It's sharp.

Situational period: Toward the end of practice the first and second-team offenses led by Jared Goff and Hendon Hooker were put in a situation where they had to start at their own 28-yard line with just 35 seconds left in the second quarter and no timeouts. Tough situation. How did they do?

  • Goff: After an incompletion forced by an Alim McNeill rush on first down, Goff hit wide receiver Jameson Williams for a 29-yard gain over the middle to the 43-yard line with 23 seconds left. Goff hit wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown at the 35 with 12 seconds left. A throw away on the next play forced a field goal try, and both Michael Badgley and James Turner made the 53-yard attempt to give the first-team offense points.
  • Hooker: He and wide receiver Donovan People-Jones hooked up for an 18-yard completion on second down to the 46-yard line. After an incompletion forced by cornerback Kindle Vildor, Hooker and tight end Shane Zylstra made a short connection to the 43-yard line setting up a 60-yard field goal try. Badgley made his attempt and Turner was short and right with his.

View photos from Day 2 of Detroit Lions OTA practice on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 in Allen Park, Mich.

Added leg strength: Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said before practice Badgley had worked hard to improve his leg strength this offseason and that was on display Thursday. He made one from 53 that would have been good from 63. He easily cleared the 60-yard attempt a little later.

Player to root for: It was good to see veteran cornerback Emmanuel Moseley taking part in an 11-on-11 walkthrough portion of practice. He didn't have a helmet, but he was out there backpedaling and running around a bit, which was good to see. He's suffered torn ACLs in back-to-back seasons. When healthy, he can be a valuable veteran presence at cornerback. The last time he played significant reps in 2021, opposing QBs completed 56.4 percent of their passes with a 65.6 passer rating.

Play of day: This goes to wide receiver Kaden Davis who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch deep down the field for a touchdown on a really good throw from Hooker. Davis might have gotten away with a little push in the back on Vildor, but it was a nice catch and touchdown.

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