TIM AND MIKE: Minicamp Day 1 observations

Making plays: This is a big offseason for third-year cornerback Teez Tabor, and he’s making the most of the opportunity to play more reps with Darius Slay not taking part in practice. Tabor stepped in front of a pass Tuesday in the first day of the mandatory minicamp and returned it for a touchdown. It gives Tabor an interception in all three open practices to the media so far, including OTAs and minicamp. He also swatted away a deep Matthew Stafford pass intended for Andy Jones later in practice. Tabor has played well so far this offseason. – Tim Twentyman

Adjustment: Stafford made one to complete a pass to Danny Amendola. As Stafford rolled to his right a receiver who’d been open on short route stumbled and fell. Stafford continued rolling right and lofted a pass over a defender to Amendola, who jumped to make the reception and got both feet down before going out of bounds. – Mike O’Hara

Increased workload: Second-round pick Jahlani Tavai got some significant work with the first-team defense Tuesday. Tavai’s size and speed combination make him a pretty versatile player at linebacker, and the Lions seem to be putting him in a lot of different situations to see what he can handle. After practice, veteran linebacker Devon Kennard said Tavai was picking up the defense “really well” and expected his role to continue to expand the more he learns. – Tim Twentyman

Hand fighting: The use of hands by linemen doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s not an underrated skill by players and coaches. Frank Ragnow and Tyrell Crosby got a standoff going against each other one-on-one, with each taking turns as the pass rusher. It was a little bit like shadow boxing. A draw meant good work by both men. – Mike O’Hara

Extra time: Minicamp allows the coaches to keep the players on the field an extra half hour over the 90 minutes they get for OTAs. Head coach Matt Patricia used some of that extra time at the end of practice to give extra reps to the rookies and young players who might not get a lot of reps during the course of full-squad practice. – Tim Twentyman

Ty Johnson: His speed is a given, and it stands out at some point every day. He had a double dip Tuesday. First was a short catch over the middle going from his left to right that turned into a big gain when he accelerated to get to the sideline to turn upfield. Later he made a jump cut to get through traffic at the line of scrimmage. Impressive. – Mike O’Hara

Work in progress: Installing a new system takes time. The defense went through the growing pains of it last year at this time, and the offense is working through it right now. There were a few times Tuesday where some signals got crossed with the quarterbacks expecting different routes from the receivers. It was a little sloppy on that side of the ball to open minicamp. The install is still a work in progress. – Tim Twentyman

Working back: Rehabbing wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. didn’t take part in practice Tuesday, but they did ramp up their activity on the side, running and catching balls. – Tim Twentyman

Related Content

Advertising