The Detroit Lions rookies are in the building.
They've been fitted for equipment, had their headshots taken and picked their jersey numbers. And probably most importantly, they've started getting some work in on the field during rookie minicamp.
View photos from the second practice of Detroit Lions rookie minicamp.
It's the start of a very long audition process for these guys as they work to earn a role on the team. So what are coaches looking for this early on?
"When you look at it, what a guy has to do is he's got to learn his position as quickly as he possibly can," head coach Jim Caldwell said Friday before practice. "He's got to be very, very effective in terms of his ability to get lined up properly to execute his techniques and he's got to be able to kind of regurgitate what's been taught to him in a hurry.
"We really load these guys with a volume of information. Without pads there's a certain limit to what you can do, but from an intellectual standpoint you can get a good sense of a guy's learning tools. Things that you can notice with movement and things of that nature outside of contact. You can certainly get evaluations along the way."
DEFENSIVE LINE EYES IMPROVEMENT
2016 was a disappointing year for defensive end Ziggy Ansah. He was limited by injuries, and recorded just two sacks for the season, a career low.
"It wasn't easy dealing with all that I was dealing with," Ansah said Tuesday. "But I know that there's always a time in life when you go through obstacles and it teaches a person how to be a man. How are you going to deal with it? I'm glad 2016 is over. I'm just looking forward to 2017."
A healthy Ansah is a huge step in the right direction of improving the Lions' pass rush, but there's still work to be done. Ansah is confident he and his teammates can get it done.
"We do have a lot of confidence in these guys (Hyder and Bryant) and then we added Washington," Ansah said. "Kerry (Hyder) is like a superstar. He's somebody that will come at 100 percent. He puts in the work.
"Just working out with them in the weight room you can see that these guys are out there to kill it. They are working and willing to get better."
After leading the team in sacks last year with eight, Hyder is one of the candidates to earn a starting role across from Ansah, but you wouldn't know it by his attitude.
"I treat my days the same," Hyder said. "I try to stay humble and keep working. I can't dwell on last year. It's a new day. You can't make the team in May. I'm still working hard."
REMEMBERING YALE LARY
Lions Pro Football Hall of Famer Yale Lary passed away Friday at the age of 86.
"On behalf of my family and The Detroit Lions, I would like to extend my deepest, personal sympathies to Mary Jane and to his children Yale, Jr. and Nancy Jane on the passing of Yale," Owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement.
"As his Hall of Fame career indicates, Yale truly was one of our all-time great players and one of the greatest of his generation. As good as he was on the field, he also was a genuinely wonderful person, one whose company and friendship Mr. Ford and I greatly cherished."
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- The Lions signed eight of their nine draft picks and 14 undrafted rookie free agents ahead of minicamp Friday afternoon.
- View throwback photos of Lions players' rookie headshots.
- Ziggy Ansah plans to return to Ghana in July to host an American football camp with his foundation.
- Taylor Decker appreciates the emphasis the Lions have placed on the offensive line the last couple years.
- The team announced Friday a series of new assignments within the scouting department.