Detroit Lions: Ten things learned from OTAs so far
|Wide receiver Lance Moore who was signed as free agent|
- Wide receiver Lance Moore has legitimate shot to make the 53-man roster. He may be 31, but he finds a way to get separation and catch the ball. He knows the offense from his seasons with the Saints and can help other wide receivers with the routes. But the Lions won’t keep him around unless he can catch the ball and so far, so good.
- No depth chart yet, it’s more of a rep chart. With a few openings at key positions, they are trying out a variety of players. Only two OTAs have been open to the media, but there were changes from one to the other. It’s early. Almost two months until training camp starts.
- Not so fast on inking Travis Swanson as the starting center. It could happen, but it’s not for certain. Manny Ramirez, who has vastly more experience, lined up at center and at guard on Thursday. While first-round pick Laken Tomlinson seems almost (key word) a sure bet for left guard and Riley Reiff will hold down left tackle there is competition for the other starting spots. With LaAdrian Waddle sidelined (following ACL surgery), Cornelius Lucas is getting starting reps at right tackle. In other words, many questions on offensive line.
- Kellen Moore continues to take reps with the second group. It’s a continuing sign that at he has a solid chance at the No. 2 quarterback position.
Wide receiver/returner Jeremy Ross talks to mediaThe return gig is still way up in the air. Different guys are getting shots. Jeremy Ross wasn’t in the mix on Thursday but he was last week. Ryan Broyles wasn’t getting return reps last week but he was on Thursday.
- It seems the staff under Caldwell has a knack for getting the best out of each player and they will think out of the box to reach that goal. Proof? They moved Xavier Proctor to offensive tackle from defensive tackle. He was on practice squad and so impressed coaches when he had to line up on offense (due to lack of bodies) in practice last year that they opted to move him.
- Players on both sides of the ball have indicated that they are way ahead of last year at this time. They were learning the new schemes and really just getting rolling. Now they have a year under their belt and seem more comfortable — don’t have to think so much, can just play. That is huge. Plus they can pay more attention to the details. Also huge.
- Other than Haloti Ngata, there is not much experience at defensive tackle but there seems to be good competition with Caraun Reid, Tyrunn Walker and Gabe Wright in the mix among others. The Lions could be looking to see what they have before signing another veteran defensive tackle.
- Cornerback Quandre Diggs, who has taken reps with the ones and twos in the slot, continues to impress with his intensity. Matthew Stafford mentioned he has noticed Diggs’ competitiveness.
- In my chat this week had questions about the disappointing draft class including Ameer Abdullah and Alex Carter. Their words, not mine. Patience, people. Abdullah is just getting started and looks fine in OTAs. Carter is finishing up classes at Stanford and hasn’t taken the field yet. Give them a chance.The Lions will wrap up OTAs next week and then have a mandatory minicamp June 16-18 before taking a break prior to training camp.(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book, “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)