The Lions reported for 2017 training camp last Saturday, and began practices the next day. Quarterback Matthew Stafford showed up for camp ready to roll after putting in some extra work this offseason.
"I put a ton of work in," Stafford said. "Did some extra stuff maybe I hadn't done in the past. Put some work in with some people that I feel like I'm going to benefit from."
Stafford has new some weapons to work with this year, including rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
"We're still trying to get a feel for one another," Golladay said after practice Sunday. "We actually just got done running a few routes. It was me coming to ask him, 'Can you throw me a couple passes that I feel like I didn't do as good on? I need a little extra work.'
"What he really said was, 'Whenever you feel like you need something, come to me. I've got it. It's a great feeling, an older guy like that – a veteran actually taking me under his wing and helping me."
In addition to Golladay at wide receiver, Stafford also has rookie Michael Roberts and Darren Fells (free agency) at tight end. Fells, who is known for being a blocking specialist, has been making plays in the passing game as well.
"It's a different style of offense," Fells said. "In Arizona, we were run first. Here, we're trying to become a little more run first. Stafford said he's going to pass the ball. I'll definitely have a little more chances here.
"I know they give Matt a lot of freedom in the offense to see what he wants to do, which helps a lot. He's not stuck with one play in the offense. He has a lot of options."
The added depth at tight end allows the offense to run more two tight end sets.
"Yeah, well, it's really always been something that we've had in our package for the most part," head coach Jim Caldwell said. "It's just kind of you have to do things according to what your personnel grouping allows and your best players allow in that regard so, yeah, we do have a few more guys at that spot."
One of the first things Caldwell addressed at his camp opening press conference was the status of left tackle Taylor Decker.
"He's coming along and making really good progress," Caldwell said. "He's on track. Beyond that, he's out of his sling, so he's working at it."
With Decker out, multiple guys have seen time at left tackle including Greg Robinson, Cyrus Kouandjio and Storm Norton. Robinson started camp on the PUP list, but has been back at practice the last couple days learning the techniques.
"It's going to take a little adjusting," Robinson said after Wednesday's practice. "I've been trying to take the coaching from Prince and just do it the way he wants us to do it and incorporate my own things into the game also that helped me that separates me.
"A few of the zone steps are a lot different and just getting that out of my technique and muscle memory, just erasing that, has been a challenge these past two days, but I think slowly it'll come along."
On the other side of the line, right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang are settling in and getting comfortable with their new teammates.
"It takes some time," Lang said. "Maybe the first or second preseason game we should be rolling by. I've been through a lot of changes in my career playing next to new guys and you just have to find ways to speed up the process."
CAMP HIGHLIGHTS Recap all the action from Lions camp:
QUIN'S NEW DEAL
The Lions announced Sunday before the first camp practice that they signed safety Glover Quin to a contract extension through the 2019 season.
"We're really excited that we were able to get the extension with Glover," general manager Bob Quinn told WJR Monday morning. "He made it clear to us he wanted to be here and he felt like this team and this organization is heading in the right direction.
"I couldn't be happier because Glover really exemplifies everything that I believe in in terms of a player on the field, a player off the field, what he does in the meeting rooms and how he takes care of his body. I want the young guys on our team to look up to him and I'm glad that he's going to be here for the next few seasons."
Quin, who first signed in Detroit in 2013 after starting his career in Houston, has seen a shift in the culture since his arrival.
"Oh, man – it's a complete 180 from the first day I got here until now," Quin said. "The culture around the team, the attitude around the team, the vibe around the team – totally different. Guys are totally different. Put it like that.
"We've got a great group, and it starts at the top. Everything feels so different from when I first got here. They've done a lot of things around the building, with making it high, high class. Just top notch, from facilities to the practice field to everything we do.
"The players can see that, and we feed on that – understand that they're investing a lot in us. We're trying to come through and take care of our end on the field."
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- Watch Tori Petry talk with Lions great Barry Sanders about returning to Lions camp in a brand ambassador role and about the team's running back corps this season.
- Making a position switch as a player affected by the new order of the Lions' linebacker corps is not a new experience for Tahir Whitehead.
- Second-year defensive end Anthony Zettel is making the most of his time with the first-team defense.
- Red Wings players Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan visited Lions camp practice on Wednesday.