TIM AND MIKE: Minicamp Day 1 observations

Progressing nicely: T.J. Lang has missed all of spring practice after undergoing hip surgery right after last season. The plan has always been for Lang to be ready for the start of training camp at the end of July. For the first time in front of reporters at Tuesday’s minicamp practice, Lang was running off to the side of practice with trainers and other players. That’s certainly a good sign he’s progressing in his recovery efforts. Also running off to the side rehabbing injuries were: Theo Riddick, Armonty Bryant, Tahir Whitehead and Don Carey – Tim Twentyman

On the ball: In the span of about a half dozen plays, two young defensive backs got their hands on balls for a breakup and a pick. First it was safety Charles Washington, who made the practice squad last year as an undrafted free agent out of Ferris State. Washington extended his right arm to bat down a pass over the middle. Soon after that, cornerback Jamal Agnew caught a deflected ball for an interception. Agnew showed the sure hands making the play that caused the Lions to draft him in the fifth round out of San Diego. –Mike O’Hara

Decker sighting: Taylor Decker was out watching practice today with his right arm in a sling. Decker had surgery on that right shoulder last week and is out indefinitely. – Tim Twentyman

Flip side: Some things come naturally to athletes in all sports. They repeat actions so often in practice that they do them without thinking. That includes long snappers, and there was an example of that when a ball bounced away from Jimmy Landes during a warmup drill. Don Muhlbach, the Lions’ long snapper the last 13 years, retrieved the ball – and snapped it through his legs back to Landes. – *Mike O’Hara

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One-two punch: Veteran tight end Darren Fells has earned a reputation as one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL, but he’s been showing off some receiving prowess as well this spring. If that continues, the Lions could have a nice one-two punch at the position with Eric Ebron and Fells. It could lead to more two-tight ends sets in Jim Bob Cooter’s offense. Stafford threw just 26 times out of a two-tight end set last year, but completes 22 of those passes with a passer rating of 144.4. – Tim Twentyman

Looking good: Two receivers caught my eye Tuesday. Rookie Kenny Golladay continues to catch everything thrown his way, but veteran Jared Abbrederis was on the receiving end of a number of Stafford passes. He's been putting together a nice spring. Abbrederis seems to be more and more of a reliable target for Stafford in both 7-on-7 and team drills. He’ll be throwing his hat into the receiver competition in training camp. – Tim Twentyman

Practice report: Sitting out the start of minicamp camp due to injury were: Decker, Lang, Whitehead, Bryant, Carey, Riddick, Corey Robinson and Jeremiah Valoaga. – Tim Twentyman

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