Camp fires Day 21: The p.m. edition
Every day during training camp, Lions beat writer Dave Birkett takes you inside practice at Allen Park with notes, quotes and observations of interest.
After three straight two-a-days, Lions coach Rod Marinelli gave players Thursday off except for a morning weight-lifting session. They'll return for one practice Friday and a walk-through Saturday leading up to Sunday's second preseason game at Cincinnati.
During the afternoon special-teams period, quarterbacks Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton engaged in a spirited game of garbage-can toss. The quarterbacks took turns throwing balls at a garbage can resting inside another, on a 45-degree angle, 42 yards away. Orlovsky put a pass in the can on one of his first attempts, but lost to Kitna on points, 9-8. Passes that landed in the can were worth five points, passes that hit the can three. "At the beginning it was a point for hitting it and five points for putting it in," Orlovsky said. "I hit it, I put it in, so I'm up 5-0 and then Jon hits it and he's like, 'Hitting it's three points.' Figures. So that's how it plays out."
One more quote from Orlovsky: "It's unbelievable how he weasels his way into things. He's in mid-life crises. He realizes it's winding down now."
Kitna got another laugh in at the end of practice when he doused safety Dwight Smith with baby powder. Smith, who's already emerged as the vocal leader of the secondary, turned 30 on Wednesday.
Injury update: Roy Williams was back taking part in team drills after sitting out 11-on-11 in the morning. Linebacker Gilbert Gardner said he's fine after suffering a concussion last week against the Giants and will play Sunday against the Bengals. Garder is playing both outside linebacker spots. Wednesday's second practice was in helmets only.
Recently-signed offensive lineman Damion Cook has been taking reps at right tackle, with Gosder Cherilus on the left side. I covered Cherilus yesterday. Coaches want to dual-train him in case something happens to starting left tackle Jeff Backus during the season. As for Cook, they need to see if the eight-year veteran can play on the outside if necessary. Jonathan Scott is favored to win the third tackle spot, but Cook played under Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto for parts of three seasons from 2002-04.