Camp fires- Day 3
Every day during training camp, Lions beat writer Dave Birkett takes you inside practice at Allen Park with a few notes, quotes and observations of interest.
The defensive line, one of the biggest question marks entering the season, has looked good through the first five practices of training camp. Shaun Cody had a very disruptive day today, Cory Redding looks sharp, Chuck Darby's a strong man and players like Ikaika Alama-Francis have had their moments. I'm just not sure what to make of it, though, since the biggest question is the offensive line. They've been average at best so far, but it's a chicken-and-egg thing and we probably won't have an answer to until we see some new teams.
Alama-Francis had the rush of the day in one-on-one line drills, bull-rushing Chris Patrick and knocking him on his back to end the period.
Rookie Kenneth Moore showed up well in a rapid-fire receiving drill where receivers coach Shawn Jefferson pelts passes at receivers through tackling dummies from close range. It'll be an interesting battle for the fifth receiver spot between Moore, who was drafted for his return skills, and Devale Ellis, who's had a great three days. Ellis will have to assuage injury concerns to win the job.
Receiver Reggie Ball is likely out for the season with a knee injury. Aveion Cason limped off the practice field Saturday with an apparent ankle injury.
Quick sound bite: Keith Smith jumped a Jon Kitna pass to Roy Williams for an interception in 11-on-11 work and new secondary coach Jimmy Lake turned to the few hundred spectators on hand and said, "Hey, where's the crowd? He just got a pick." When Brian Kelly tipped a pass for a near-interception on the next play, he got a handful of applause. Note to fans, if you're coming out, it's OK to cheer.
Lastly, if there was any doubt, the Lions will not receive a compensatory pick in next year's draft for the selection of Army linebacker Caleb Campbell, who, in a change of policy, was told earlier this week he would have to wait two years before he's eligible to play. In an e-mail to The Oakland Press, Randall Liu, the NFC information manager for the NFL, wrote, "There is no compensation. Teams draft at their own risk."