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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Mini-camp: Day 2 thoughts

Daunte Culpepper had another good morning under center on Day 2 of Lions mini-camp. Culpepper was at his best throwing deep balls to Calvin Johnson and other receivers. You can see why he had so much success with Randy Moss in Minnesota. If the offensive line can hold up, I'm sure Scott Linehan will make that a big part of this year's offense.

The other quarterbacks, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson, had better days Saturday as well. Stanton looked much more comfortable under center. He threw a few nice passes on rollouts and twice drew the defense offsides with a hard count. Henson still has a little third baseman in his throwing motion, but he was sharper as well.

A few other morning thoughts:

• Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed to the Free Press that Aaron Curry's agent Andy Ross took in Saturday's practice. I'd caution against getting too excited, Curry fans. Ross wouldn't have been on the field if the Lions didn't want him to be seen. Matt Stafford's agent Tom Condon was reportedly in Detroit recently to begin negotiations, too.

John Standeford is out for the rest of mini-camp after injuring his left ankle in practice Friday. He was on crutches and wore a boot on his left foot Saturday. “He'll be fine,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.

• Schwartz wasn't too pleased with some of the penalties. “Yesterday the offense didn't use any hard count and defense was getting off the ball and today they added that to the equation and defense didn't respond as quickly as I would have liked them. That's something that'll come, but first time you get stuff like that it's going to be a change.”

• Defensive end Cliff Avril said he's bulked up to 260 pounds after playing last year at 252. “I'm actually heavier than I've ever been right now,” Avril said. “I feel comfortable running with it, but honestly I think I want to get down a little bit to about (255), go to camp about (255, 256) and then just build off it from there.” Avril said he's willing to play some linebacker if the Lions so desire. “I'm down for whatever just as long as I can get to the quarterback,” he said.

• I mentioned Paris Lenon still having a stall in the Lions locker room yesterday, but I forget to mention Corey Smith's stall as well. The Lions kept Smith's old locker as a tribute to their former defensive end, who was lost at sea in a fishing accident. Smith's locker is between the stalls of defensive backs Keith Smith and Daniel Bullocks. A program from his memorial service sits in the locker, and Keith Smith said players routinely come by and read it.

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Anonymous Big Biting Pig said...

Hey David, will how good Culpepper looks in minicamp have any bearing whatsoever on their decision for the #1 overall pick?

For example, is it possible, if the Lions brass sees Culpepper looking great that they may think, hmmmm, maybe we can keep Culpepper around as our QB for the next 2 or 3 years, and just draft a rookie QB next year or the year after rather than this year?

Or will the decision to pick or not pick Stafford be made 100 percent regardless of how good Culpepper looks?

1:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasn't real worried about the stanton and henson showings yesterday. like schwartz said it was their first outing and they were throwing the ball well before that so who cares? glad to hear they stepped up today too.

sucks to hear about standy but he'll be back soon catching everything thrown his way.

thanks again for the updates, dave. really appreciate them.

1:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

were the players that were out yesterday on the field today, dave? if so, how'd they look?

3:00 PM 
Blogger Jesse said...

Cheese and rice, Dave, good stuff. This blog is quickly becoming the best read on what's going on with the team.

3:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Dave I would have to agree with Jesse said. This is has become the best place to get real inside information on the Lions. Please, keep up the good reporting.

6:05 PM 
Anonymous Michael Schottey said...

With the possible importance of this minicamp, can we get an update on how a few other players (at positions of need) are doing?

Cody Spencer, Fluellen, Cohen, Eric King, etc.

6:11 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Thanks for the kind comments.

Michael, that's what I'm planning to blog about tomorrow, initial impressions of some of the newcomers. I didn't want to jump to judgment after one practice. Figured I'd take the whole camp to get a decent feel for those guys.

Big Pig, I think the Lions have already made their decision on who to draft, whether it's Stafford, Curry, Smith, whoever. I can't see Culpepper's performance impacting that too much. He's throwing on air, against the Lions defense, and with a sliver of the playbook in. If they think Stafford's the long-term solution at QB, Daunte's performance on an April weekend won't change it.

And lastly, no, everyone who missed yesterday - Jackson, Bullucks, Peterman, etc. - were still out today (and will miss Sunday, too).

10:54 PM 
Blogger Egret said...

Love the blog. This is the spot to get all the Lions info. Keep up the great work.

11:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how long until YOU become the lions insider, dave? ;]

10:56 AM 

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