Camp fires - Day 2
Every day during training camp, Lions beat writer Dave Birkett takes you inside practices at Allen Park with a few notes, quotes and observations of interest.
It's only two days in, but the most impressive player in camp so far is cornerback Leigh Bodden. When Bodden intercepted a deep pass in Friday's morning session, staying with receiver Brandon Middleton on an out-and-up route, safety Dwight Smith barked, "That's our money man."
I know I've said this before, but the additions of Bodden, Smith and Brian Kelly make the secondary much, much better (and that's without even considering a potentially healthy Daniel Bullocks, who remains on the PUP list). I stand by my prediction that if the Lions are able to generate a consistent pass rush they'll be a top-half-of-the-NFL defense this year.
By my count, the defense made five interceptions in the morning session, including one each by linebackers Paris Lenon and Buster Davis.
Linebacker Gilbert Gardner took some No. 1 reps at weak-side linebacker with Ernie Sims still being careful with his surgically-repaired shoulder. Unless Takeo Spikes signs, there should be roster space for both Gardner and Buster Davis, who's had a good first two days.
Rookie Kevin Smith is catching the ball well coming out of the backfield. Tatum Bell's a solid pass protector, which might give him the edge in the running-back competition to start, but Smith is primed for a very productive season.