Mutual respect/admiration society:It was a 50-50 proposition to gauge who was more impressed at the start of the camp – Lions players, or the special guests they shook hands with on the way to the practice field for the evening practice.
A group of first responders – Police, Fire and EMTs – flanked the players on both sides, and they shook hands and wished each other well as the players took the field for their first night practice of camp underneath the lights in Allen Park. Training camp practice can become routine, but this event was meaningful and anything but routine. – *Mike O'Hara/Tim Twentyman
Nice gesture: Lions team president Rod Wood and Matthew Stafford's wife, Kelly Stafford, handed out preseason tickets to first responders waiting in line to attend Wednesday night's practice. The tickets were donated by the Staffords, and everyone in line received two of them. – Tim Twentyman
Things that go bump:Tight end* *Eric Ebron was getting bumped everywhere he turned in one sequence of plays.
Bump 1: He was hit low in a collision with safety Rafael Bush on a pass over the middle and spun to the turf.
Bump 2: A nice catch by Ebron along the right sideline on a throw from Dan Orlovsky. Just as he went out of bounds, Ebron and Bush made contact again. It was nothing serious.
Bump 3: A fist bump of appreciation from Orlovsky when Ebron got back to the huddle. He didn't mind that one. – Mike O'Hara
Situational work: The team worked on a lot of situational drills Wednesday. One called for the offense to score a touchdown from the opponent's 35-yard line with just 1:30 on the clock. Aided by a pass interference penalty by Nevin Lawson on Golden Tate in the end zone with time winding down, the first-team offense scored on a Stafford QB draw the next play. The second and third-team offenses failed to score.
They also worked on a drill where they were given 51 seconds from the other side of the 50-yard line to get into field goal range. Again, the first team offense moved down the field and scored. No luck again for the second and third units.
The team also worked a little bit on using up some clock and taking a safety in a punting situation from their own end zone late in a game. Lots of situational work under the lights Wednesday. – Tim Twentyman
Precision tuning: Even when the team is in pads, as it was for the third straight practice, there are drills done without contact. Tight ends coach Al Golden put his players through a drill that almost looked like it could have been a dance routine.
Working against a blocking sled, one by one the tight ends got into the proper stance and alignment, with the proper shoulder in an exact position to get the best blocking angle. It shows again how football is a game of fundamentals in addition to power. –* Mike O'Hara
Struggles: Second-year cornerback Alex Carter didn't have his finest day in one-on-one drills with receiver Damian Copeland, who scored a touchdown on three of the four reps against Carter from the 5-yard line. Two of them weren't even close. – Tim Twentyman
Jumping the gun: A series of botched plays late in practice couldn't have pleased the coaching staff. The offensive line had two false starts in three plays. – Mike O'Hara
Back at it: RB Theo Riddick was back at practice after sitting out the last two practices with an undisclosed injury. He looked like himself in the individual portion of practice. He didn't participate in any team drills, which is normal for a player in his first practice back from coming off injury. – Tim Twentyman
Slay Jr.: Cornerback Darius Slay has added a Jr. to the end of his last name on his jersey. The change appears to be permanent moving forward as Slay said after practice that it's a respect thing for his father. The only thing Slay said he had to do to get approval to make the change was to show his drivers license, which he says reads Darius Slay Jr. – Tim Twentyman
Kickoff return: The Lions worked on kickoff return at the beginning of practice and had Ameer Abdullah (still in red jersey), TJ Jones, Andre Roberts, Jeremy Kerley and Quandre Diggs back returning kicks. –* *Tim Twentyman