Lions' rookies contribute in preseason opener
Let’s look at what the Lions’ rookies did in the 23-7 loss to Pittsburgh in the Lions’ preseason opener on Saturday night.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh moved bodies around on the inside just like he did at Nebraska. He has fit in from Day One despite his contract holdout. He’ll just get better.
Running back Jahvid Best let a sure reception go through his hands and turn into an interception, but he averaged almost five yards per run and broke a 15-yarder on the outside.
Not sure there will be room on the roster for wide receiver Tim Toone, the seventh-round and final pick in the draft, but he did what he does in practice -- when balls are thrown his way he catches them. He had a pair of catches for 24 yards and he also got a shot at a punt return late in the game.
Caleb Campbell’s rookie debut was delayed two years by the Army, but he seemed to fit in even though he’s making the transition from safety to linebacker, he hadn’t played a game in more than two years and he had never even attended an NFL game.
Cornerback Amari Spievey, who hasn’t practiced much because of a hip injury, got beat on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and then got a few choice words from defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Spievey, a third-round pick, is behind because he hasn’t practiced much so this is not a surprise.
Undrafted rookie safety Randy Phillips, who just signed with Detroit a week and a half ago, started in place of the injured Louis Delmas and made a couple big plays. The Miami product was one of the positives in the secondary.
Fourth-round offensive tackle Jason Fox and seventh-round defensive end Willie Young both saw action, but it was later in the game and tough to evaluate them. Neither one is expected to produce much this season. They’re should be projects.
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