Five things we learned about the Lions this week
After three days of minicamp, this could be 55 things we learned about the Lions this week. However, I’ll narrow it down to the usual five:
1. Titus Young has clearly been a standout on the field. If he’s trying to make up for his transgression of punching teammate Louis Delmas, he’s doing a good job. Last year he was injured in training camp and gradually improved as the season wore on. With his first full offseason behind him, he could be something special.
2. Nick Fairley has had a good offseason at least in the eyes of GM Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz. That’s good enough for me. Fairley’s off-field problems haven gotten more publicity, but he has been impressive so far. Good thing, because eventually he’s likely to be suspended for at least a few games which means he could lose a little ground during that time.
3. Make no mistake, the Lions need Cliff Avril back, but Willie Young has taken advantage of the extra reps. He’s lined up on the right and left sides. He was one of three players who have stood out in the mind of Mayhew. Defensive linemen take time to mature and it appears Young, a seventh-round pick in 2010, is trending in the right direction.
4. Mikel Leshoure is close to being all the way back following his Achilles’ surgery last August. He got the ball in team drills on Thursday and as Schwartz said, “He looked like a running back.” That’s opposed to a rehab patient which he had been for so long. Too bad he’ll miss the first two games due to suspension. Although in the long run, it might be wise to have the extra rest for his Achilles’.
5. This team is in a great spot as it prepares to start training camp on July 27. They have the schemes installed and they have the rookies up to speed as much as possible. The consistency factor is huge. The wheel is not being re-invented. They just have to tinker, add a few new wrinkles and then determine the best 53 players.
(During the next five weeks, I’ll blog daily Monday-Friday with Lions’ lists of three. It’ll be a fun thing. Follow me on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)