Slay vs. Hopkins: Joint practices in Houston between the Lions and Texans means one of the best receivers in the game – DeAndre Hopkins – squared off against one of the league’s best corners – Darius Slay. In 1-on-1s Wednesday, Hopkins caught a short slant with Slay in tight coverage. Slay jammed Hopkins on the next rep and got him a little off balance off the line of scrimmage, and was on Hopkins’ hip on a deep route that was overthrown. It was pretty physical going down the sideline, and Slay could have been hit with a penalty. Hopkins made a nice over-the-shoulder grab on a deep ball in a team period, and later a sliding catch in the back of the end zone for a touchdown with Slay covering in a red-zone team period.
“That was great work,” Hopkins said after Wednesday’s practice vs. Slay. “Darius is one of the best doing it right now. He matches up against me well. I feel like going against him today I learned some things and we bounce some knowledge off each other.”—Tim Twentyman
Weather or not: For everyone who asks – and everyone does – it’s hot here. Hot and humid. The temperature at the end of practice was in the low 90’s, with a humidity of 53 percent that made it feel like 104 – and on the way to a high of 109 in late afternoon. By then, the teams were off the field. – Mike O’Hara
Wisconsin alums: Texans defensive end J.J. Watt found himself lined up across fellow Wisconsin alum and Lions right tackle Rick Wagner in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills. Wagner was up to the task and won both reps against Watt, but make no mistake, a player of Watt’s caliber is going to get his, too. He later put a terrific swim move on Wagner in a team period to disrupt a play, and had another nice rush toward the end of practice. Overall, Wagner was good in that matchup Wednesday. – Tim Twentyman
Center of attention: Frank Ragnow looks back at home in the move from left guard, where he played for the Lions as a rookie, to his college position of center. He showed that in one sequence of plays in the full team drill. He faced a linebacker over him in a two-point stance, a tackle lined up on his left shoulder, and a tackle on his nose. On that play, he gave no ground as the tackle moved to his right, then back to his left. – Mike O’Hara
Not just a runner: Kerryon Johnson’s ability to make plays as a pass catcher last year was a nice part of his game that wasn’t necessarily showcased in college at Auburn. He’s turning into a very good receiver. The Lions trust him to line up out wide as a receiver on some plays. He made a terrific catch on a wheel route down the right sideline in Wednesday’s practice. Johnson is going to make plays in the pass game. – Tim Twentyman
View photos from Day 16 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.
Catching on: Safety Quandre Diggs got tested twice on similar plays and made a play both times. The first was a pass in the right flat. Diggs rode the receiver out of bounds near the line of scrimmage. A few plays later, a receiver caught a pass on a similar play, but with a blocker in front. Diggs got through the blocker to stop that play at the line of scrimmage. – Mike O’Hara
Standing out: Two players on Detroit’s defense stood out to me Wednesday. Defensive end Romeo Okwara was tough to handle both in individual and team drills. I noted at least three sacks he could have had in team drills had it been live on the quarterback.
The other was safety Tracy Walker. Another day another interception for Walker, this one off Deshaun Watson in a red zone team period. He has a knack for the ball, and the range and frame to go get it. – Tim Twentyman
Short on receivers: I didn’t see Marvin Jones Jr. at practice, and Danny Amendola didn’t take part in any team reps. This after Jermaine Kearse was lost last week to a leg injury. Getting first-team reps Wednesday were Kenny Golladay, Chris Lacy and Tom Kennedy, with TommyLee Lewis in the slot. – Tim Twentyman