Week 1 to 10 Standouts of Detroit Lions Training Camp

with the first week of training camp in the books, and Detroit Lions Sunday being a day of rest, it is a good time to reflect on the four practices so far. As part of the team’s slow ramp-up period, the Lions have yet to put up full pads, and the practice at the start of the week was no more than just a glorified walk-through. However, the camp has intensified over the past few days, with a significant increase in speed and materialization.

So to recreate the first set of exercises, I (Jeremy Reisman) and Eric Schlitt picked 10 players who made the biggest impression in Week 1 of Detroit Lions training camp.

RB D’Andre Swift

Jeremy: This week, coach Dan Campbell called Swift “one of our most explosive players on offense,” and it’s impossible not to do that in training camp, even if the pads are on. The Swift’s acceleration is top-notch, as we saw during a rush in which she tossed Carrie out, beating everyone up a notch to the edge over several stages.

Swift also stood out as a nearly impossible assignment in the receiving game during red zone practice. Of course, it always helps when your quarterback throws a penny like this:

LB Anthony Pittman

Eric: I think the player who has made the biggest jump in the depth chart for me is Pittman. He felt something after entering camp that many of us in the POD thought he might be a sleeper if he took a step or three. Over the course of four days of camp, he seems to have made the ground quickly and is probably getting used more than any other player on the roster.

Pittman has served as a sub-package single off-the-ball linebacker in the DIME set (division rep with Chris Board) with the first team. He has also spent time with the other team as an EDGE/SAM hybrid, occasionally taking rep behind Julian Okawara (a role Jarad Davis appears to have lost to him). Additionally, he has also taken third-string reps at Mike/Will, showing his limits for playing each linebacker spot. And then there’s the special teams-Remember he led the team in special teams snaps last season—where he is all over the field, pushing people here and there.

Here’s what coach Dan Campbell had to say about Pitman on Saturday:

I think the beauty of Pitt (the guy) is just that, man, if he can be especially better as Mike’s inside backer, bump him up and play Sam the linebacker, who’s a little new to him. Emotion. It will take one minute. But he still has the physical properties to be able to do that, and he’s got some length, and he’s got momentum. He’s very explosive, so we like the fact for that guy you’re looking for, that guy, let’s see if he can play all the linebacker spots, oh and he can play special teams, that’s exactly what you are. Looking for.

Pittman isn’t in the top-3 linebacker rotation at this stage of his development, but when you can do as much as he does, a reserve linebacker role on the 53-man roster seems well within reach.

DL John Kominsky

Jeremy: Kominsky has been working consistently with the second and third team, but he is making a case for him to get more and first-reps. My Week 1 Notebook is filled with “79 Pressure,” “79 Sack,” “79++” as he continues to build on a solid off-season.

Now is an excellent time for Kominsky to make an impression, as second-round pick Josh Pascal is sidelined by his sports hernia. Both are destined for similar roles – the edges settle on the outside, but the inner passages pass underneath. It is entirely possible that Kominski, who once produced 21 pressures for the Falcons in 2020 in a non-starting role, makes the team if Pascal starts the regular season on the unable to perform regularly. .

CB Chase Lucas

Eric: Lucas enters camp as NB3, which seems like a tough spot on the depth chart, given that the Lions only had one nickelback last season. But for those who have been in attendance, the rookie stands out in many areas and has begun to mingle with the other team, which could be the necessary opportunity to build up the roster.

If you get a chance to get out of camp, keep an eye and ear on the number 36, which is probably going to match up with anyone who orders your fellow members of the secondary and travels into the slot. It seems that Lucas already has an understanding of defensive planning, which gives him a significant advantage over most players.

Like most in-depth players, Lucas’ ticket to the roster will go beyond his contributions on defense, and his special teams work has already caught Campbell’s attention.

“I would say (Chase) Lucas-Lucas caught my eye, and I’ll tell you—especially in special teams practice, that’s where I really see it,” Campbell discussed the rookie standout. Time said immediately. “There’s competition practice and awareness of that, he’s very intuitive and he’s aggressive and you’ve got everything you need to be a good special team player.”

Edge Austin Bryant

Jeremy: Like Kominsky, Bryant is taking advantage of the extra reps given to him due to injury. With Romeo Okawara being sidelined, Bryant seems to be getting a lot of looks with the other team’s defense. Of course, Bryant is also benefiting from a weak offensive tackle room. Decker was sidelined on Saturday, with unfinished rookies Obinna Eze and Darin Paulo in the other team’s offensive tackles. Still, Bryant is doing what an NFL-caliber player should be doing in those situations: to dominate. And he’s winning in more ways than one. I’ve seen him turn the edge, or crash inside and tackle the skates.

At one point during Saturday’s practice, he disappointed Eze so much that once the offensive tackle actually won a rep, he began talking smack to Bryant. It was clear that the defensive end had gotten into his head.

CB Will Harris

erico: We all knew Will Harris was in the mix in the outside corner based on the coach’s comments and usage in the spring, but I don’t think many of us really knew how much mix there was until this week. The team is still taking it slow with Jeff Okudah coming out of Achilles surgery, but it has created an opportunity to split the starting rep with Harris, and the former safety has taken advantage.

Harris’s play on the field has been consistent and impressive at times. He’s big and physical for the position the coach loves, but he also has little athleticism, which allows him to match with outside receivers/ends very well.

Right now, Harris is in the mix to begin with, but even if Okuda passes him on for the role, Harris has shown enough ability to give hope that the secondary may go deeper than anticipated.

WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Jeremy: While St. Brown doesn’t make any explosive or eye-catching plays, it has caught my eye with the different ways the Lions are using him. I can’t give too many details on how the lions are using him, but it’s fair to say that he will be carried everywhere.

Sometimes he’ll serve as “eye candy”—a distraction for opposing defenses. We saw this on display during a red zone drill on Saturday, which found Swift open to score. Sometimes, though, they’ll be actively moving him around to get him into a friendly matchup. And if you get a linebacker on St. Brown, it’s over.

In addition, St. Brown gets extra credit for successfully blocking Aidan Hutchinson on a cheeky-designed running play.

Edge Charles Harris

erico: In 2021, Charles Harris went from presumptive bubble player to one of the best in the Lions’ defense, and this year, he’s out to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

“It’s still a proven mindset,” Charles said after practice. “Without a doubt. Pretend this is not a fluke. Show that it’s a no-hitter, it’s not. This is not a change in mindset. I’m going to approach every single day, every single exercise, like it’s my last. I have come here to play as if this is my last. Play with my heart open every day. ,

While the Lions’ defensive front is shifting to a more offensive approach, Harris’ role is still the same as last season, with a bit more of a slew of responsibilities, including getting into coverage. As a pass rusher, Harris has certainly benefited from the extra attention Hutchinson needed in camp, but he has found success during the first week against some very good offensive linemen.

DT Demetrius Taylor

Jeremy: There are many defensive linemen on this list, and it is no coincidence. They have been the strongest unit in the camp. Some of it relates to the depth of a poor offensive line, but it also speaks to the additions and changes in philosophy of the defensive line to a more offensive front.

Taylor, an unfinished rookie, continues to build on a stellar spring, which saw him several pass breakups, tackles for a loss and even an interception. This camp—working with a third team—Taylor has been polishing his running ability, regularly besting Ryan McCallum.

Taylor remains a long shot to make the roster, but he has made an impression on Campbell.

“He’s just one of those guys that just — we can be sitting here at the end of camp and he just won’t settle down, and I mean that in a great way, man. He just won’t settle because he just gets better and better.” And so, I know this, he’s been one of those guys that I’m willing to bet that (Lions defensive line coach Todd) Wash will tell you since spring, he’s had some The best improvement is the most improvement of any of them guys.”

Age Aidan Hutchinson

erico: So, I want to be careful not to over-publicize the cheater, especially since the pads haven’t arrived yet, but so far that’s what’s advertised.

“Definitely hutch, I mean, that just, that pops,” Campbell said of the rookie’s ability to stand out. “To see him just keep working and go through it, I’m telling you every day he gets a little better and all you care about is that you see a little improvement every day.”

Hutchinson has really shown growth throughout the camp, and Saturday was his best dayBut it’s also easy to argue that we haven’t yet seen the best parts of his game. On Monday, the team will be on the pads for the first time since camp opened, and after getting the better of Penny Sewell on Saturday, their much-anticipated one-on-one fight could go a bit further. My excitement level is clear.

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