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TIM AND MIKE: OTA Week 1 observations

Ragnow at guard: First-round pick Frank Ragnow played exclusively at left guard with the first-team offense during Thursday's open OTA. Playing guard, Ragnow looks to fit right in with the vets. It's hard to evaluate o-linemen without pads, but Ragnow moves well. – Tim Twentyman

Standing out: LeGarrette Blount looks different than most of the running backs of the past and present, and there's a reason for that. He* *is *different physically. At 6 feet and a listed weight of 247 pounds, he is powerfully built. With his jersey sleeves bunched up, it almost looks like he is wearing shoulder pads. – Mike O'Hara


Defensive looks: There are definitely some 3-4 elements to the defensive alignments. Most notably, linebacker Devon Kennard played almost exclusively on the line of scrimmage, and most of the time alongside three defensive linemen. – Tim Twentyman

Coach on the move: Matt Patricia was a defensive coach for the last 12 of his 14 seasons with the Patriots before being hired as head coach of the Lions. He showed Thursday that he'll be involved with all units. He spent most of one early period with the offense, offering encouragement and instruction. –Mike O'Hara

Participation report: The biggest name missing from practice Thursday was safety Glover Quin. Ziggy Ansah was at practice but didn't do much. Tavon Wilson and Joe Dahl were wearing red no-contact jerseys. –Tim Twentyman

Coach jabs: Patricia is a big fan of boxing, but the jabs he dished out were part of a common offensive drill designed to improve ball security. In one drill he manned the padded stick used to jab players as soon as they get possession. – Mike O'Hara

Secondary shuffle: With no Quin, Quandre Diggs played free safety with the first-team defense with Tavon Wilson playing the strong spot. Darius Slay and Teez Tabor played on the outside with Nevin Lawson in the slot. Miles Killebrew also got a lot of reps at safety with Quin out and Wilson in a red jersey. So-so day for him. He was beat a couple times for scores. – Tim Twentyman

Forgiving hands: Veteran tight end Levine Toilolo, signed in the offseason as a free agent, couldn't come up with a pass from Matthew Stafford near the goal line that would have been a touchdown. Toilolo was open on the play. As he jogged down the sideline, Toilolo got hand slaps of support from teammates -- with a last one from Stafford. – Mike O'Hara

Practice tempo: There's definitely a different look to a Matt Patricia-run practice. They utilize both ends of both outdoor fields a lot for individual and drill work. Periods are shorter, and guys are constantly shuffling around. During points in practice the quarterbacks worked with just the receivers, just the running backs and then just the tight ends going through route concepts. A lot of time was dedicated to individual and position to position development. – Tim Twentyman

Switching sides: It was only one day, but Nick Bellore was on offense as a fullback Thursday. He was used primarily at linebacker and on special teams last year, with a few snaps at fullback. Bellore touched the ball once last season – a one-yard TD catch in the road loss to the Ravens. – Mike O'Hara

Two emerge: There's definitely no doubt that Kerryon Johnson and Blount are the top two guys running the ball. One or the other led every team session or 7-on-7 drill. Blount looks to be in terrific shape. Johnson certainly is a patient runner with a terrific burst when he sees it and decides to go. – Tim Twentyman

Catches of the day: There are two lucky winners today – both tight ends. Michael Roberts had a terrific leaping catch in the end zone over safety Rolan Milligan. Luke Willson got behind Killebrew in a two-on-two drill, and made a great lunging catch in the corner of the end zone. – Tim Twentyman

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