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TIM AND MIKE: Training camp Day 9 observations

Moving up: Rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez has had a terrific start to training camp and is being rewarded for his efforts. The team always begins practice going through plays in walkthrough fashion offense vs. defense with the starters and key reserves on one field and the backups on the other field. For the first time that I can remember during this camp, Rodriguez graduated to the starters field for those drills. – Tim Twentyman

Hard hit: Wide receiver Trinity Benson took one near the end of practice. He didn't see it coming. He got up slowly and said later it took a few to recover. – Mike O'Hara

View photos from Day 8 of Detroit Lions training camp on Thursday August 4, 2022.

Catch of the day: Two days in a row for wide receiver DJ Chark. The first throw of the first team period against the defense, quarterback Jared Goff launched a ball down the left sideline and Chark made a terrific over the shoulder sliding catch while keeping his feet inbounds for a big gain. Chark's been making a lot of big plays like that through the first week and a half of camp. – Tim Twentyman

Special player: Watching wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown make catch after catch with ease in practice confirms that he has been on a special track from the day he joined the Lions as a fourth-round draft pick. He was not affected by the "rookie wall," and there is no sign that he's be slowed by the "sophomore jinx." – Mike O'Hara

Trash talkers: There's plenty of chirping that goes on between the offense and defense throughout the course of practice, but the loudest and most consistent trash talking that went on Friday was between assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn throughout an entire team period of practice. Those two are former players and fierce competitors. – Tim Twentyman

Look what I found: Goff never saw linebacker Alex Anzalone roaming the middle of the field in a team drill, and Anzalone was able to step in front of a short crosser intended for wide receiver Josh Reynolds. Anzalone took it to the house for a pick six. – Tim Twentyman

Deep shots: We talked about the deep Chark catch early in practice above, but Goff connected with Josh Reynolds deep down the field later on in practice too. It's certainly been noticeable how many more deep shots Goff is taking and connecting on vs. training camp last year. The additions of Chark and Reynolds play a big factor in that. Just wait until Jameson Williams returns and Goff has that trio to throw deep to. – Tim Twentyman

Rookie impact: The team conducted a two-minute period late in practice with the backups. Rookie linebacker James Houston just about single-handedly torpedoed quarterback Tim Boyle and the offense's chances in the drill with two sacks. Houston might be undersized (6-1, 241), but he's got some juice coming off the edge, and that's where he's making an impact early in camp. – Tim Twentyman

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