The Notebook

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NOTEBOOK: Opponents need to account for Driskel’s athleticism

When Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan popped on the tape to start preparing for Lions quarterback Jeff Driskel and Sunday’s game against the Lions, one thing jumped out to him more than anything.

“Driskel is a big, competitive, athletic guy that can make plays with his feet,” Callahan said in a conference call Wednesday. “It was impressive watching him against the Cowboys, and also the Bears, in terms of with what he did running the football. Not only from the read-zone game and the option game that they run, but also just his ability to move and escape the pocket.”

Driskel rushed for 51 yards Sunday against Dallas, including a 2-yard touchdown. He also threw for 209 yards and a couple scores. He rushed for 37 yards in his first start in Chicago. He’s averaging 11.0 yards per rush in his first two starts.

“I thought he put the team in position to win at the end,” Callahan said of Driskel’s performance against Dallas. “I thought he competed at a very high level. Yeah, I just think he’s a guy we have to contain and do a good job of in the pocket.”

ORUWARIYE ON DEFENSE

It was a couple personnel packages that totaled nine plays Sunday for rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye on defense, but those are nine plays he can start to build on.

Oruwariye has appeared in three games this year for the Lions, but Sunday was the first time he saw action on defense. The first two he played exclusively on special teams.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound fifth-round pick by Detroit played well in his nine snaps. He wasn’t targeted in the pass game and notched a tackle. It wouldn’t be surprising to see coaches give him some more opportunities on defense down the stretch.

“I think he has a good skill set,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Oruwariye. “We’re still in the initial stages of him playing in the NFL right now, so he has a lot to learn. I thought he played hard, I thought he played aggressive. I thought he tried to do what we asked him to do in both phases – special teams and defense. Hopefully, we’ll just continue to try to build from there.”

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.

WAGNER WORKING HIS WAY BACK

The biggest change to the practice report Thursday was right tackle Rick Wagner being a full participant in practice after being limited Wednesday.

Wagner missed last week’s game against Dallas after suffering a concussion the week prior in Chicago. His full participation in practice Thursday is a good sign he’s on his way back to the lineup as long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks between now and Sunday.

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