Skip to main content

TIM AND MIKE: OTA Week 1 observations

Leaving early: Running back David Montgomery and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez left Detroit's open OTA practice early Thursday after suffering apparent injuries. Montgomery injured his left leg after making a cut in individual drills. He walked off gingerly back to the locker room with a trainer. – Tim Twentyman

Race to the goal line: Running back Jermar Jefferson caught a pass in the flat during a 7-on-7 period, made a man miss and took off down the right sideline. Rookie linebacker Jack Campbell was determined to chase him down, and the two ran about 50 yards down the right sideline to the goal line. Campbell ran with Jefferson step for step, showing off his wheels at nearly 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds. – Tim Twentyman

On the run: Watching rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs run drills made it apparent why the Lions drafted him 12th overall. He can cut back at full speed without slowing down, and he caught passes out of the backfield without breaking stride. – Mike O'Hara

Interior opportunity: With Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson not taking part in Thursday's voluntary OTA practice, newly signed lineman Graham Glasgow got a lot of work at center with the first-team offense. Halapoulivaati Vaitai played a lot of right guard and Kayode Awosika got some good run at left guard. – Tim Twentyman

Backfield quickness: One thing that stood out to me Thursday watching the individual running back period with new Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach Scottie Montgomery is this group of backs is so much quicker and more explosive. There is going to be great competition in that room for roster spots. And whichever backs make it are going to have an opportunity to bring the big play back to the Lions' run game running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. – Tim Twentyman

Versatile defenders: Veteran C.J. Gardner-Johnson and rookie Brian Branch are going to be versatile players in Aaron Glenn's defense. Glenn said Thursday before practice he planned to play Gardner-Johnson at safety and nickel corner, and that's exactly what we saw in practice. Branch did the same thing, playing nickel and safety. What a great situation for Branch to come in and learn from a vet like Gardner-Johnson. – Tim Twentyman

Role playing: Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said he could see how rookie wide receiver Antoine Green may contribute on special teams. At 6-2, 199 pounds and a time of 4.47 in the 40, he has the physical traits for it. – Mike O'Hara

Good to see: Third-year defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike didn't take part in practice Thursday but he was spotted off to the side working on his stance and firing off the ball. That's encouraging to see with him coming off a back injury that cost him the entire 2022 season. – Tim Twentyman

Deep threat: Second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams is expected to stretch the field for the Lions' offense with his rare speed. We saw a little bit of that Thursday. Both Jared Goff and Nate Sudfeld targeted Williams deep with one in particular from Sudfeld a beautiful bomb down the center of the field that Williams couldn't quite track in with cornerback Starling Thomas in pretty good coverage. It hit Williams in the hands, and he'll probably tell us he should have had it. Watching Williams Thursday, it's easy to see why the Lions are excited about him. He is so quick coming out of breaks and gains separation from defenders easily. – Tim Twentyman

View photos from Day 2 of Detroit Lions OTA practice on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Allen Park, Mich.

Play of the day: This belongs to veteran safety Brady Breeze, who jumped a route ran by wide receiver Kalif Raymond on a ball thrown by Sudfeld for an interception late in a team period that ended practice for the veterans and won the period for the defense. – Tim Twentyman

Chomping at the bit: Veteran safety Tracy Walker took part in some walkthrough stuff at practice, but the Lions are still being careful with him as he continues to rehab a torn Achilles suffered Week 3 last year. Walker is running and moving pretty darn well, and said he's chomping at the bit to get into the thick of things. He expects to be full go by the start of training camp. – Tim Twentyman

Related Content