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TIM AND MIKE: Training camp Day 1 observations

Red jersey: Ameer Abdullah doesn't play quarterback, but he donned the old "don't hit me" red jersey during the Lions' first training camp practice Friday.

Abdullah missed all of OTAs and minicamp as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. The red jersey to start training camp is another step in the process of getting him back to full activity.

Abdullah participated in individual drills and some team drills, but the red jersey made sure defenders stayed off that shoulder *– Tim Twentyman


Stepping right in: Anquan Boldin's resume compiled over 13 seasons speaks for itself, and there was no delay in putting his talents on display. On the first play of seven-on-seven drills, Boldin was in the right slot in a four-receiver package. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate were split wide, with Eric Ebron in the left slot.

Matthew Stafford's pass went to Boldin, who was open on an in-cut above 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. – Mike O'Hara

Riddick at it again: We've all seen how Theo Riddick can make linebackers look silly in the open field. It was the first day of camp and wouldn't you know he found another victim.

It was Josh Bynes' turn during a one-on-one pass drill. Coming out of the backfield, Riddick gave Bynes a shimmy to the inside that literally dropped Bynes to his knees. Riddick caught the ball, of course, on the angle route and turned upfield with clear sailing. Welcome to the club, Josh. – Tim Twentyman

Sticky fingers: The Lions have a receiving corps that is known for having sure hands and few drops. Marvin Jones showed his sure hands midway through practice. Jones made a good catch on a pass that was slightly below knee level. He grabbed the top half of the ball and secured the ball without breaking stride. – Mike O'Hara

Scoop and score: The Lions ranked 26th in the NFL last season by forcing just 18 takeaways. It appears early on in camp improving that number is a big emphasis.

When the ball hit the ground Friday, even if was an incomplete pass, all the defenders started yelling "scoop, scoop" and rushed to the ball to try and pick it up and go the other way. It was a theme all through practice.

Give linebacker Khaseem Greene credit for the first forced turnover of camp. He stripped receiver Jace Billingsley of the ball during a punt-return drill. – Tim Twentyman

Healthy legs: Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is beginning camp at full strength, and it shows. On one three-play sequence in the team portion of practice he lined up over the right guard on the first two plays and over on the left the third. On all three plays, Ngata got off the ball with a burst and made penetration to help disrupt the play.

A year ago, Ngata began camp on the active/non-football injury (NFI) list because of a hamstring injury that he sustained working out on his own. He missed all of camp and the preseason, and it showed in his play. He was not at full strength until late in the season. – Mike O'Hara

Filling in: With DeAndre Levy beginning camp on the NFI list, veteran linebacker Jon Bostic filled in for him with the first-team defense at practice.

Bostic started 17 games in Chicago over a two year stretch from 2013-14 and played 11 games with New England last season. – Tim Twentyman

On the defense: Johnson Bademosi was signed as a priority free agent to bolster the special teams, but he also was told he'd have an opportunity to get quality playing time at cornerback. Bademosi had two good breakups Friday – first on a sideline pass meant for TJ Jones and later on a pass intended for Jeremy Kerley. – Mike O'Hara

The wise men: Dominic Raiola, who retired after the 2014 season after 13 seasons with the Lions, is working with the strength and conditioning coaches. He watched part of practice Friday with Lomas Brown, who played 11 of his 18 seasons at offensive tackle with the Lions.

Between them, that represented 31 seasons and 482 games of experience – 263 for Brown, 219 for Raiola. It's fair to wonder what they haven't *seen, if anything. *– Mike O'Hara

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