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O'HARA: Lions benefiting from moving Pittman inside

Anthony Pittman and the Detroit Lions' coaching staff came to an agreement when they met for the first time in the offseason to discuss Pittman's future with the defense.

They came to a mutual agreement that it would be better for Pitman and the defense if he was moved to inside linebacker after being on the outside the previous two seasons.

It was a good move for both sides. Pittman has stood out making plays in the first week of training camp.

"Night and day – inside and out," Pittman answered when asked the difference in his play compared to the previous two seasons.

"I lost some weight. I'm making some plays -- feeling like I'm in the right position to make whatever I can for the defense.

"It's my natural position. I played it my whole life. A couple years ago, they (the previous coaching staff) moved me outside. I added that skill set to my tool box.

"When I moved inside, it was just natural."

It was a comfortable fit for Pittman, and a productive one for the Lions' defense.

When defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was asked earlier this week about which linebackers have made an impression on him, Pittman was the first one he mentioned.

"He's making plays on the ball," Glenn said. "He runs to the ball. You see the physical nature of him. There's a lot of things about that player I like."

Pittman signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent from Wayne State, where he was a highly productive and respected player. He was a two-time team captain (2017-18) and made the academic honor roll five times.

He spent most of his first two seasons with the Lions on the practice squad.

Pittman developed his skills while on the practice squad because of the competition he faced daily in practice.

"I was able to go against the number one offense – Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow," he said. "I was going against all the veterans. Adrian Peterson was here. All those guys – I was able to play real ball against them. High-level players."

Head coach Dan Campbell said he didn't have much of a line on Pittman when he and his staff started evaluating the roster they inherited.

"So we brought him in and talked to him," Campbell said. "We moved him inside, and he's just been doing this."

Campbell made a motion with his hand rising.

"He shows up every day," Campbell said. "Every day he does something. And he can run. He's physical. He's young. He's one of those guys you get fired up about.

"The potential's there, and we're working hard at it."

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