Secondary gains: Quarterback Jared Goff said after Tuesday's practice that he's noticed an uptick in play from Detroit's revamped secondary this offseason. Those guys are making it harder on receivers to get open and for the offense to operate in general compared to this time last year.
That was certainly the case late in practice during a red-zone 7-on-7 drill. I thought the defense won the drill, and defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson let everyone in listening range know it. – Tim Twentyman
On the move: Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs is more than just a tailback who runs between the tackles. On one play he lined up split to the left, shifted to the right, then took a handoff and swept around left end. – Mike O'Hara
Rookie presence: Whether it was a toe tap in the back of the end zone from Goff or climbing up over safety Ifeatu Melifonwu at the back pylon to snag a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Nate Sudfeld, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is making his presence felt.
"He gets himself open, he's able to separate, he's got great hands," Goff said of LaPorta after practice Tuesday. "He's done a hell of a job." – Tim Twentyman
Inside/outside threat: Second-year defensive lineman Josh Paschal worked with both the interior defensive linemen and the edge rushers in the individual portion of Tuesday's minicamp practice. Paschal said after practice he plans to play both inside and outside, and hopes that versatility sets him apart. – Tim Twentyman
Cover skills: Charles Harris is listed as a defensive lineman on the Lions' roster, but he also has the agility and versatility to play off the ball. He showed that when he lined up and covered wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on a pass-coverage drill. – Mike O'Hara
Situational football: The Lions worked on some situational football Tuesday during a team period where the offense was trailing 24-23 with the ball at their own 25-yard line and just 28 seconds on the clock. Goff and the first-team offense used a 30-yard completion to wide receiver Jameson Williams over the middle with eight seconds left, and then a short completion to wide receiver Josh Reynolds, to put themselves in position for a 45-yard field goal, but kicker Riley Patterson hit the right upright and the defense won.
Sudfeld and the second-team offense completed 4-of-5 passes, hitting Gibbs, tight end Shane Zylstra, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. and Williams, to get in position to kick a 55-yard field goal that Parker Romo missed wide and short on a windy afternoon in Allen Park. Sudfeld had a really nice start to minicamp running the second-team offense. – Tim Twentyman
Back-to-back: It looked almost like instant replay on two catches by wide receivers Maurice Alexander and Chase Cota. Alexander stretched to make a catch in the left corner of the end zone. Seconds later, Cota made an identical catch. The two players bumped fists on the way back to the huddle. – Mike O'Hara
View behind-the-scenes photos from 2023 Detroit Lions media day on Monday, June 5, 2023.
Pay it forward: After a team red zone period Jones was spotted off to the side working with rookie wide receiver Antoine Green walking him through a route and release. Young receivers like Green are going to benefit from having an experienced veteran like Jones in that room. – Tim Twentyman
Mental mistake: There appeared to be a couple missed defensive assignments from second-year safety Kerby Joseph that prompted some chatter from coaches and teammates, particularly Gardner-Johnson. This is the time to make and correct mistakes, and I get the sense there's a higher standard being set in the back end of the defense with the new veterans and Tracy Walker setting the standard. Hopefully that limits some of the communication issues and mistakes we saw too often from Detroit's secondary last season. – Tim Twentyman