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Wednesday Night Under The Lights....Camp Update

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Posted: 8/2/2014 1:21 PM

Wednesday Night Under The Lights....Camp Update 


So, just got back from AP today and look forward to giving a glimpse of what I saw (later tonight, I'm going to be late for work). Here's a bit of a "tease"....


It was Family Day at the Allen Park facility. Can't wait until Monday when it's NOT Family Day (lol, tongue). It was packed to the gills, which was great to see. Folks of all ages crowded in to watch us....run drills and 7 on 7.

Could have sworn I saw IAF walking around the crowd, or it was just a mammoth guy....but, I digress.

Anyway, my initial impression was: Caldwell runs this show totally different than Schwartz. I mean, it's really not close. This may (or may not) draw ire....but, I actually was reminded a bit of the 2008 open practice with music, a DJ, etc etc. Now, I will have to check back on Monday to see if it was just part of the theatrics OR if this is a theme (not that it means anything, of course because the music shut off when the players got going).

Perhaps this is a way to motivate our guys into always having a game day atmosphere. But, it was totally different from the open camps under JS. Maybe the days of Fontes are back! LOL.

On to some of the good stuff: well, not so good to start. Calvin DNP. Ziggy DNP, but this has been a theme for a bit now, so it's not a shock. I'm sure both will be ready to go come season time.

What I found interesting with how Caldwell rolled was....there was a lot of miming. For example, you'd figure we'd want guys to touch the ball AMAP. However, from the word "go", there was more concentration on blocking schemes than there was ball handling. I say this because, for the first half of practice, during kickoffs...the ball would remain on the tee while everybody else ran down field. Strange. Maybe Schwartz did this, but I don't recall.

Anyway: guys....get excited...Ross is the REAL DEAL. Some of you may have known that last year, but the kid looks great. I mean, like a legitimate return man, to the point it would really suck to see this guy go down.

When we DID actually start putting the ball in the air, he took one back or at least made a couple moves that would have made that happen in a game (I was in the endzone, so I did miss a bit coming my way). Another noticeable player out there on special teams was....LeShoure! After watching today, those who have been predicting he will likely make the roster are probably correct....and I think he's going to see significant time in both the O and on Special Teams. If somebody wants him cut, it's out of hate, because there is NO way this guy isn't one of the best 53. NONE (lol, now watch him get cut, haha). It looks like we have a plan for him too.

Regardless, it was good to see him out and showing that 2011 class isn't done yet.

I know some of you will skip right to this part (tongue) QBs. OK, truth....lets save the Stafford stuff (and the Ebron stuff, but there WAS a minor treat today from them, so get hyped). Lets get to Moore and Franklin. Actually, it's OK to do.....because it showed how different things were. This will make some of you laugh. But, Caldwell actually has Franklin lining up...against the D....deliberately throwing INTs (you may ask: couldn't Stafford do that himself? biggrin). My guess is we are teaching or trying to teach turnovers. It would be nice to have a defense that actually makes quite a few.

This looks to be his value and, if I had to guess, he is headed to the practice squad.

So, what of Kellen and Dan? Well....

Dan looks like Dan. If you saw him in 2008, you saw him today. I don't think I can expect much from him at this point, but it's pretty clear he's cemented as the #2 QB on this roster. For all of us who'd like to bring in Orton or Freeman (it wouldn't bother me one bit)....I don't think there's much chance. He threw some typical short bounce stuff (one of note went to Peacock) and a few wobblers, but for the most part....he looks like a standard Lions starter...from the pre-Stafford era (where you walk away saying "thank God this guy is not actually starting). It's not a slight, it's just thinking....we COULD do better at QB. Backup, for sure.

Kellen. Naturally, he saw VERY limited time. HOWEVER, it wasn't because of him, per se. Actually, he didn't really see the field in any action until the very last 3 minutes of camp. Spent most of the afternoon with a clipboard, tossing the ball. When he got in there, (that I counted, when somebody wasn't obstructing--DAMN FAMILY DAY!!!) he handed off 5 times and threw 2 passes (one INC or for no gain on the sideline....folks were filing out at this point making it hard to see, I believe it was an INC). I paid close (and I mean CLOSE) attention to the guy (to the point I looked like MORE of a weirdo) just to make sure I didn't miss something about him I've apparently not seen.

In truth....One of his two passes looked spectacular to, I believe, Reese Wiggins. In stride, right down the seam. It was, perhaps, one of the best of the late morning.

Right after, there was a botched snap and the ball flew way over his head, and that was all she wrote. So, he didn't lead a TD drive....Still, this said: my INITIAL thoughts are Kellen could function if we wanted to run the ball 30 times a game and pass 10. But, since we don't, my guess is...we are going to carry 2 QBs with Franklin on the PS. That's just the impression I got. And I've been wrong plenty. So, it's not like I can say with any certainty if the guy will make or won't make the roster. If he doesn't, it's hard to say it's because of his lack of anything....seeing all we really had him do was....hand off.

A couple other very quick notes....Taylor. Dude, this guy is just monster big (never saw him that close up). Fairley? Looks super good in terms of condition. More to come when I have some time.....

EDIT: UPDATE ON MONDAY, 8/4/2014

OK, fellas. Just walked in from Monday's 8:30 session.....

Being during the work week, there was a lot fewer people there than Family Day, however the atmosphere was the same (DJ and all). It's clearly for the enjoyment of the fans, which is cool by me cool

I again wandered the stands and then the sidelines, as is customary. The cool thing about the practices is...you never know who you may see. This time, I happened to spot TO (for you Detroit based fans) observing and Robin Murdoch (Fox 2 news) looking for interviews (before I saw Jeff Daniels and Lloyd Carr...in years past).

Before the meat, well that was a bad pun, here's an omen. About half way through practice the stands to the left of me were laughing. Turns out....a duck was circling and had landed smack in the playing field. I instantly thought of some of you guys and thought "If X or Y was here...you better believe there'd be a topic on how Mayhew is a "lame duck" and his family was coming to collect"....none the less, you'll be happy as clams to know...the duck was fine and flew off over Southfield. biggrin (well, I know some of you hunt....so...maybe you won't be so happy).

ANYWAYS....Here the skinny.

Clearly there was a VERY scary moment. In drills, Slay collided while breaking up a pass. He instantly rolled over onto his head....took off his helmet and lied there while the staff came to tend to him. Gradually, he got up, but it was difficult to tell if he returned. The good news is: it didn't look like a lig....but, it could have been a concussion...or just a stinger. Have to keep posted to hear if we hear anything.

So, as requested: I took a GOOD look at Fuller and, guys, this guy has a chance. He was running with the 1s at some points AND, more important, he was showing the ability to make the deep catch. In fact, he was actually HELD at the LOS and STILL was able to beat the DB (Bentley, I believe) AND score on it. It wouldn't shock me to see this kid get some reps this year and (perhaps) make the roster if a guy like Broyles (I'll get to him in a bit) doesn't. But, in either event, he is somebody you're going to want to keep your eyes on....because he looks like he could play a pivotal role in the offense.

So, Wise....you're right on Austin. However, it's pretty clear from practice, Swanson is your #2. Why I say this is pretty simple....those of you who want Dom gone? Sure sign of the times. This morning during drills....Dom stood in a visor, in pads, watching as Swanson delivered the ball to Stafford. There is 0 question Dom is your guy going into the season, but something like that cements to me that....we are definitely grooming Swanson and he will likely be your 2 to start your year. This is Dom's last hurrah and it's pretty clear from today everybody knows its coming. Austin DID snap the ball, but he was actually snapping it to Moore....who was behind Orlo....and who was taking nearly all his snaps from Darren Keyton.

Continuing on the theme of mes thinkings wes gonnas bes gunning for LOTS of turnovers? The DBs are running a new drill....in which they are specifically practicing stripping the ball. I didn't see this under Schwartz, tho he may have done it. A guy who impressed me at this drill was....Greenwood. That was something I like to see and coupled with the LB INT drill, I am thinking we may see an increase in TOs this year (or so I hope!)

Broyles: the guy is, pretty much, running with the 2s and 3s. It's cool, but I've not seen him get a great look. I don't know what this means for him, but it's hard to tell. Perhaps he's the odd man out. Can't tell. confused

OK. Now, Im ready to (briefly) start talking about that QB we have....All right, I'm not going to lie....it's pretty clear at this point...he will NEVER be 100% perfect ALL of the time. However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't see him have a bit more control than I have in the past. For instance...what I didn't post was....last Saturday...with Tron on the sideline....He hit Ebron down the sidelines for a HUGE gain, biggest play of the afternoon and a great sign that both he and Ebron may be starting to form a bit of a connection...and then, the cherry on top, a couple play later....we "cashed in". Of course, I tried to hold my tongue until I saw more. BUT, today.....he threw another beauty to CJ who brought it in and would have likely gone for a TD in a real game. On top of that, the aforementioned Fuller caught what would have been a BOMB of a TD as well (like I say guys, this kid is going to get some looks!) Still, there were a couple passes the last 2 days that make you say "hummmm" (and that I know his detractors would absolutely key in on)...but in most cases it was hard to tell if the ball sailed OR if he has learned to actually throw it away opposed to into coverage (this is what I hope). To be frank, it's obvious we have more options going deep, the only place of concern I have is...we have yet to perfect that goal line offense where we are playing pitch and catch.....

And, just so I don't forget, Fauria.....saw him DROP a pass today (Stafford put it absolutely right on the $$$). Evidence of this is, he INSTANTLY clapped his hands together...and took off a pair of gloves he'd been wearing. It was obvious he was feeling self blame there. But, it's nice to see our legit players taking a bit of action with self blame.

Our favorite "great white hope" (Durham) bobbled a ball today....and then brought it in

Guys, get excited: we got a real punter too. LOL (sorry, but Martin looks just amazing, seriously....I am thinking Pro Bowl here and that's no BS, just a beauty of a booter.)

Onto my continuing evaluation of "ahem".  In this thread it's suggested that Stafford is getting about 50% of the passes, Orlo 30 and Moore 20? Only one number is right...Moore at about 20. In the last minutes of practice (O vs D), this is what I counted....there were 17 reps.

Stafford with 7 reps (41%)
Orlo with 6 reps (35%)
Moore with 4 reps...of those 4 reps, 3 hand offs and a sideline toss (23%)

It's pretty much Stafford and Orlovsky separated by 6% and Moore with about 12% less than Orlo and 18% less than Stafford. We are clearly worried about 1s and 2s, while Moore gets the scraps at the end of each drill or session. And there is clearly no competition, at this point, for the 2 QB job. During the final drills, Kellen handed off 3 time while tossing a screen. I continue to insist that Moore is, for all intents and purposes, only in our plans if Orlo suffers some kind of injury.

Here's some break down of what I saw from him in the passing department during drills (again, he mostly hands off).....

He overthrew Williams, there was a tip which was nearly picked, (in his defense) his WR slipped on one route, he went deep and overthrew Fuller (who is getting TONS of work!) who had a step (in his defense, again, Stafford overthrew Fuller once, I believe--may have been Ogletree)....and he STILL looks like, if he ever gets any serious time, we are going to be working the sidelines...as nearly everything he tossed there is completed for a short gain. I am not going to say whether he looked "bad" or "good", but I'm still not sold on what he will bring....and think a guy getting about 20% of the snaps and about 4 reps where other guys are getting 6 and 7 says....he's climbing up hill (but, rumor has it he does that well, so time will tell). 

On Franklin? What I loved about this kid was....he was the first QB on the field this morning and actively standing around the coach. I would be a bit surprised if we didn't keep the kid on the PS, but....then again, it's all a numbers game, I suppose.

As for some other odds and ends. Still trying to see difference in the formation, but Van Noy IS wearing 95 (that's not really news, but it says perhaps we are going to be using him as a 34 back someday??? Seeing most traditional 43 LBs wear 50s....but just speculating). One drill I really thought looked cool was the "garbage can" drill where the players would line up and learn gaps with the garbage cans....don't know why it was interesting, but it was something Schwartz didn't do.

I am going to FF on Wednesday....then back to AP on Thursday....so, I will do a bit more write up before the first game (after that, it's really going to be more interesting to discuss the ACTUAL preseason!) but, for the most part....so far....so good. I won't say we look like a Super Bowl contender, but then again, this isn't your 2008 team either. No bold predictions here, but I will say....we look like we have the fire power to go deep this year. Early and often. And, if what I've seen so far is any indication, we are going to do that.

Looking forward to continuing this soon!


EDIT: UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY, 8/6/2014

OK. So, tonight's open practice at Ford Field went off without a hitch. For those who couldn't attend, it was a pretty sweet set up...you walked in, they gave you a green Lions towel (there is going to be an emphasis on "going green" this year so they're plugging it) and a sticker that could contain a "golden ticket" (no idea what that was about! But, somebody near me said it had to do with autographs). Surprisingly, it was pretty empty, so much so that a great many people got front row seats with few rows or sections with people beyond row 4 or 5. You just walked in, walked up to the front and sat down. Very cool and very up close and personal (I saw Calvin Johnson about 10 feet away). They put on a good show with local Lions guy Dan Miller and our own legendary Charlie Sanders doing something of "play by play", explaining the drills to those who werent in the loop. Along with some mild impressions of what it will take to make the team. Nothing revolutionary, but nice to hear Charlie and Dan and certainly good if this was your first time watching how the team practiced.

Worth the price of admission! tongue

Anyway, some more impressions which should be good in taking us through Saturday when we can stop talking and start watching as a group (I plan to DVR and am going to look into bumping to DVD so I can give specifics this year about what I'm seeing, those I don't expect consensus--see the Suh and Patterson thing for example of how we are going to differ even with video--But, I think the "memory test" doesn't stand up into April and May when there is no football).

So, here goes.....I can't emphasize enough: Ross is the real deal. The guy is going to chip in on offense this year, Im sure of that. He looks road ready and I'd be very surprised if he didn't get a chance to be a versatile tool for us in some capacity (I expect a handful of offensive snaps for him per game). He's quick and he's dangerous when he breaks loose. In the past, we tried things like this with Drummond to no avail, however....I think Ross is going to be different.

And like Ross, LeShoure is out there in a bunch of different situations. Special teams, first unit offense, second unit offense. I think the guy is not only going to be in our plans, but be HEAVY into them. Looks like he could be another versatile weapon. Speaking of that, today...Reggie Bush was fielding punts! LOL. I don't know if this will ever happen in a game, but hey....why not? He's got 4 career TDs and they made it pretty clear that Special Teams is an area of emphasis that has lagged behind in the past. I say, be prepared to see some different type of stuff on kicks and punts this year. It's so clear we want versatile players it's not funny...and I think we have several who can both chip in on offense and special teams. I hope this is as refreshing in November as it is now.

Kickers? I know this has been a polarized subject and, because of that, I think I will give a bit of what I think (as worthless as it really is).....I was, like others have mentioned, impressed with both Freese and Tavecchio  for different reasons. Put it simply: if you could roll both into one kicker....you'd have an all pro. But, we are going to have to decided on one and frankly? You can pick your poison....do you want the guy with less leg and more accuracy OR the guy with more leg and less accuracy? Haha. I've seen this said before and I think it's a spot on assessment. Sitting close to a boot, I was thinking "Man, if Tavecchio keeps booting it like that, we got a kicker...then...toward the end of the session in drills, the further out we were--he absolutely screwed the pooch and bounced one off the right upright. Boink! Freese? Just doesn't impress me either. I was, at first, going to disagree that kicking is an area of concern, but WHERE IS JASON HANSON WHEN YOU NEED HIM??????

Really....give it time, but we don't have much and if the O is what I think? We may be coming away empty handed at least a few times this year. You have been warned! devil By more reputable posters than me!

OK. So, now here's my big (and I mean BIG) area of concern. Normally, I wouldn't mind it in the preseason, but its killed us in the past. During the final set of drills, Dan Miller made a comment about how...when a team gets into the red area (well, that's what Sanders called it...and I liked that!) they need more than a field goal. Well, SO FAR...in camp....call me nuts, but this team is having a DIRE time cashing in. That's ALL three QBs who have been seeing time, including Stafford. Could it be that the D is just that good in the red zone? I dunno, but in practices, I've seen us stall as in years past. We did hit pay dirt once (DanO did--and TRUST ME--this guy is going to get an even more scathing review than Kellen--tongue).....but, for the most part....it was disappointing to see us move very well between the 20s and just...stall.

Outside that, Stafford DOES look sharp, outside the occasional bad throw. Tonight, he did something I am not sure he's done too much before....instead of trying to make a play...he pulled the ball down and let him self take a (hypothetical) sack. It was a "smart sack" because there was nothing for him there and he was in the pocket, so....perhaps the golden boy is learning a bit of awareness to those types of things? Still, this talk is cheap. The kid is going to have to come out and have a good series or two on Saturday to tell me any of this means a crap (and frankly, I'm waiting to say he looks GREAT until that point, because really--practice is practice). He's still got his butter in Calvin. And they hooked up. Which got a nice roar from the masses. I will say: if nothing else, these two are going to be fun to watch this year, of that I'm sure.

Onto Dan. Dear Dan. OK. Tonight, he practiced very (very, very, very, very) poorly. His passes were off target, he threw 2 INTs (that I counted, both of which would have gone back for a TD) . He just looked bad. Yeah, it was only practice, but this was an indication of why Dan was never given a shake as a 1. So far, he's looked serviceable as a backup. Tonight? Eh. I would not want to see him in a game (I wouldn't want that anyway, but tonight he looked particularly bad). Still, in fairness....it wasn't ALL bad. He made a couple nice (very good) throws and did actually hit pay dirt toward the end of the session. But, he really took this one on the chin, IMO. It's cool, he's not your 1. But, be thankful for that!

Kellen. Once again, Kellen made 3 handoffs and about 1 pass the first time I saw him actually running the O (customary 4 plays) and the second time...and I felt bad....the 3rd unit was so out of sync...some fans actually began booing. Seriously, really? Come on, people. I heard comments about how he hasn't lived up to "expectations" from a guy sitting near me to which even I nearly took exception...I could have turned to him and said "what expectations do you have from a UDFA? I was already full of p**s and vinegar from a driving incident down Fort. But, I let it pass (mad Vince isn't "nice Vince", lol). 

It's clear some expect him to be the QB in the pros he was in college and it's clear he's not, even if he's a 2.....someday....the chances of him being the dominant force he was at BSU is pretty slim and I think his biggest supporters may even admit that--he was legendary at BSU).

It's really hard to say if Kellen's throws were off (at least two sailed out of bounds resulting in INCs and another I know was low) or if it's his WRs...but he DID have a completion later in the session which was sweet. And I didn't get to see his final drive in the red zone, because the people in front of me had already started trying and calling Bell over for autographs (LOL...there was a lot of that and a lot of folks who thought these guys were going to just leave practice to chat with them.....noidea)

Another thing I noticed (and Fangdog predicted this)....he IS playing with total crap. I mean, he was actually TALLER than the smurfs they put out there with him (a few at least). And one of the INCs looked like it was the result of the WR (like Stafford with Grew--I believe--on a pass....it hit him in the hands, and I'm sorry...that's on the WR/TE...not the QB). Guys, here's a confession....and I can't say this enough....we are absolutely wasting the guy as a 3rd QB IF all he's going to be doing is 3 hand offs. Let him air it out, for Christ's sake! How will he ever take "the next step" if they don't let him? It's bothersome to me because we spent 2 years on him. If we want a practice squad player, get one. Time will continue to tell on him, so lets wait to see him under the lights, eh?

Tonight, I walked away with the impression the LBs are going to be close to a dominant group. I've seen some great plays from Hepburn and Palmer over the last couple days and even Travis Lewis looks like he knows it's put up or shut up time now. So, whoever makes it will be a quality backup! That can be counted on. There are times I think, if we are to have a dominant red zone D, you're going to be seeing a lot of our LBs (duh!). Of course, these guys are still battling for positions, so I am holding my tongue on them, but there have been some nice hits and breakups from the unit thus far.

When it comes to the DL? Perhaps the highlight of the night was Ziggy and Fairley playing "soccer" with each other (again, it was a pretty fun atmosphere). Later in the session, Ziggy was on the sideline with a coach who was having him going through motions with the tackling dummy, possibly part of getting him back to speed. It was good to see him getting some one on one, even if he wasn't practicing. We need him this year. I think that front 7 could be astounding if everybody is healthy and ready.

I walk away from the open sessions with the impression that our DBs will be bend but not break or nothing at all. Serviceable? We will see. Terrible? We will see. I still am not amazed by anybody, but I don't think every guy out there is a revolving door. Guys like Quin and Ihedigbo will suit the S position THIS year, certainly. But, our receivers routinely got separation from our CBs. Anybody hoping we will find a "shut down corner" is going to be complaining from the word go, but I urge you to give it all a chance.

Ebron DNP (as was indicated here) and Slay was back and ready to go, which was great. Also, Tate III looks like he is going to be huge for us. Imagine Nate, only younger and with more potential to break something.

I'm going to say that the open practices have revealed a few things to me about this team. Most of which....they're a solid mix of vets and young players who are, mostly, all eager to play. I think our RBs (as a whole) are going to be very good this year. I think the OL will continue to progress and only get stronger with a year of development for Swanson (seriously, we could have one of the very best OLs in the NFL for several years if these guys can just--knock on wood--stay healthy!)

I look forward to seeing how things go on Saturday to see how much any of this transpires and may even hit up another camp after the break JUST to see what adjustments are made. However, I think the limited plays we see on Saturday will be exciting and, perhaps, a little unnerving at times. But, still, this team has some potential, for sure.

As usual, time will tell. But, it's safe to get excited about 2014, Lions fans! I think we could take a step. Really, I do.
"He was the backup last year. He was a backup the year before that.He's been a back up his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup".

Martin Mayhew on Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Free Press, 2.21.09

Last edited 8/7/2014 1:49 AM by VinceLombardisGhost

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Posted: 8/2/2014 1:42 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


Thanks Vince! Excellent write up so far!

Look forward to hearing more.

Last edited 8/2/2014 1:45 PM by mongoose

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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:00 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.

Last edited 8/2/2014 2:01 PM by ArgentBlue

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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:23 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
Isn't it a bit early in the day to be intoxicated?   biggrin
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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:45 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
one thing that stand out to me is that nearly every interview with the defensive players when asked how or what they think of the new scheme they all reply with how excited they are about it how disguised they'll be with all the different looks they'll show. This should benefit our offense as well.

 

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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:50 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



sleats wrote:
ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
Isn't it a bit early in the day to be intoxicated?   biggrin
hell yeah it is wink
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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:58 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



VinceLombardisGhost wrote: So, just got back from AP today and look forward to giving a glimpse of what I saw (later tonight, I'm going to be late for work). Here's a bit of a "tease"....

It was Family Day at the Allen Park facility. Can't wait until Monday when it's NOT Family Day (lol, tongue). It was packed to the gills, which was great to see. Folks of all ages crowded in to watch us....run drills and 7 on 7.

Could have sworn I saw IAF walking around the crowd, or it was just a mammoth guy....but, I digress.

Anyway, my initial impression was: Caldwell runs this show totally different than Schwartz. I mean, it's really not close. This may (or may not) draw ire....but, I actually was reminded a bit of the 2008 open practice with music, a DJ, etc etc. Now, I will have to check back on Monday to see if it was just part of the theatrics OR if this is a theme (not that it means anything, of course because the music shut off when the players got going).

Perhaps this is a way to motivate our guys into always having a game day atmosphere. But, it was totally different from the open camps under JS. Maybe the days of Fontes are back! LOL.

On to some of the good stuff: well, not so good to start. Calvin DNP. Ziggy DNP, but this has been a theme for a bit now, so it's not a shock. I'm sure both will be ready to go come season time.

What I found interesting with how Caldwell rolled was....there was a lot of miming. For example, you'd figure we'd want guys to touch the ball AMAP. However, from the word "go", there was more concentration on blocking schemes than there was ball handling. I say this because, for the first half of practice, during kickoffs...the ball would remain on the tee while everybody else ran down field. Strange. Maybe Schwartz did this, but I don't recall.

Anyway: guys....get excited...Ross is the REAL DEAL. Some of you may have known that last year, but the kid looks great. I mean, like a legitimate return man, to the point it would really suck to see this guy go down.

When we DID actually start putting the ball in the air, he took one back or at least made a couple moves that would have made that happen in a game (I was in the endzone, so I did miss a bit coming my way). Another noticeable player out there on special teams was....LeShoure! After watching today, those who have been predicting he will likely make the roster are probably correct....and I think he's going to see significant time in both the O and on Special Teams. If somebody wants him cut, it's out of hate, because there is NO way this guy isn't one of the best 53. NONE (lol, now watch him get cut, haha). It looks like we have a plan for him too.

Regardless, it was good to see him out and showing that 2011 class isn't done yet.

I know some of you will skip right to this part (tongue) QBs. OK, truth....lets save the Stafford stuff (and the Ebron stuff, but there WAS a minor treat today from them, so get hyped). Lets get to Moore and Franklin. Actually, it's OK to do.....because it showed how different things were. This will make some of you laugh. But, Caldwell actually has Franklin lining up...against the D....deliberately throwing INTs (you may ask: couldn't Stafford do that himself? biggrin). My guess is we are teaching or trying to teach turnovers. It would be nice to have a defense that actually makes quite a few.

This looks to be his value and, if I had to guess, he is headed to the practice squad.

So, what of Kellen and Dan? Well....

Dan looks like Dan. If you saw him in 2008, you saw him today. I don't think I can expect much from him at this point, but it's pretty clear he's cemented as the #2 QB on this roster. For all of us who'd like to bring in Orton or Freeman (it wouldn't bother me one bit)....I don't think there's much chance. He threw some typical short bounce stuff (one of note went to Peacock) and a few wobblers, but for the most part....he looks like a standard Lions starter...from the pre-Stafford era (where you walk away saying "thank God this guy is not actually starting). It's not a slight, it's just thinking....we COULD do better at QB. Backup, for sure.

Kellen. Naturally, he saw VERY limited time. HOWEVER, it wasn't because of him, per se. Actually, he didn't really see the field in any action until the very last 3 minutes of camp. Spent most of the afternoon with a clipboard, tossing the ball. When he got in there, (that I counted, when somebody wasn't obstructing--DAMN FAMILY DAY!!!) he handed off 5 times and threw 2 passes (one INC or for no gain on the sideline....folks were filing out at this point making it hard to see, I believe it was an INC). I paid close (and I mean CLOSE) attention to the guy (to the point I looked like MORE of a weirdo) just to make sure I didn't miss something about him I've apparently not seen.

In truth....One of his two passes looked spectacular to, I believe, Reese Wiggins. In stride, right down the seam. It was, perhaps, one of the best of the late morning.

Right after, there was a botched snap and the ball flew way over his head, and that was all she wrote. So, he didn't lead a TD drive....Still, this said: my INITIAL thoughts are Kellen could function if we wanted to run the ball 30 times a game and pass 10. But, since we don't, my guess is...we are going to carry 2 QBs with Franklin on the PS. That's just the impression I got. And I've been wrong plenty. So, it's not like I can say with any certainty if the guy will make or won't make the roster. If he doesn't, it's hard to say it's because of his lack of anything....seeing all we really had him do was....hand off.

A couple other very quick notes....Taylor. Dude, this guy is just monster big (never saw him that close up). Fairley? Looks super good in terms of condition. More to come when I have some time.....
The two highlighted parts, first, the music and DJ were also at the practice on Tuesday, along with the "autograph raffle". The second part, on Tuesday they were using the machine to mimic the kicks and the players were running full speed without any blockers, at the returner, and yes Ross looks to be the real deal, real quick feet and cuts.
Hanks admits that Suh’s hit on Browns QB Brandon Weeden on Sunday was “not an egregious play,”
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Posted: 8/2/2014 2:59 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



Me4LionsPresident wrote:
ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
one thing that stand out to me is that nearly every interview with the defensive players when asked how or what they think of the new scheme they all reply with how excited they are about it how disguised they'll be with all the different looks they'll show. This should benefit our offense as well.
yeah there's definitely enthusiasm on both sides of the ball.  i think that's the difference.  in year's past you'll see two guys optimistic but it's really guarded optimism disguised as hope, one guy talking smack, 14 being cautious, the rest being business like.

this year, universally all the guys just have this confidence.. confidence allows you to be playful and excited.  you don't have to be as guarded.  but it's also tempered with a business like mentality too.  the guys just seem centered and focused and all on the same page.  it's like they know what toy they're getting for xmas but can't open it until sept.   they're preparing for how to use it while knowing the keys to using it best are totally and collectively up to them.  no more excuses.
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:04 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



lionking299 wrote:
VinceLombardisGhost wrote: So, just got back from AP today and look forward to giving a glimpse of what I saw (later tonight, I'm going to be late for work). Here's a bit of a "tease"....

It was Family Day at the Allen Park facility. Can't wait until Monday when it's NOT Family Day (lol, tongue). It was packed to the gills, which was great to see. Folks of all ages crowded in to watch us....run drills and 7 on 7.

Could have sworn I saw IAF walking around the crowd, or it was just a mammoth guy....but, I digress.

Anyway, my initial impression was: Caldwell runs this show totally different than Schwartz. I mean, it's really not close. This may (or may not) draw ire....but, I actually was reminded a bit of the 2008 open practice with music, a DJ, etc etc. Now, I will have to check back on Monday to see if it was just part of the theatrics OR if this is a theme (not that it means anything, of course because the music shut off when the players got going).

Perhaps this is a way to motivate our guys into always having a game day atmosphere. But, it was totally different from the open camps under JS. Maybe the days of Fontes are back! LOL.

On to some of the good stuff: well, not so good to start. Calvin DNP. Ziggy DNP, but this has been a theme for a bit now, so it's not a shock. I'm sure both will be ready to go come season time.

What I found interesting with how Caldwell rolled was....there was a lot of miming. For example, you'd figure we'd want guys to touch the ball AMAP. However, from the word "go", there was more concentration on blocking schemes than there was ball handling. I say this because, for the first half of practice, during kickoffs...the ball would remain on the tee while everybody else ran down field. Strange. Maybe Schwartz did this, but I don't recall.

Anyway: guys....get excited...Ross is the REAL DEAL. Some of you may have known that last year, but the kid looks great. I mean, like a legitimate return man, to the point it would really suck to see this guy go down.

When we DID actually start putting the ball in the air, he took one back or at least made a couple moves that would have made that happen in a game (I was in the endzone, so I did miss a bit coming my way). Another noticeable player out there on special teams was....LeShoure! After watching today, those who have been predicting he will likely make the roster are probably correct....and I think he's going to see significant time in both the O and on Special Teams. If somebody wants him cut, it's out of hate, because there is NO way this guy isn't one of the best 53. NONE (lol, now watch him get cut, haha). It looks like we have a plan for him too.

Regardless, it was good to see him out and showing that 2011 class isn't done yet.

I know some of you will skip right to this part (tongue) QBs. OK, truth....lets save the Stafford stuff (and the Ebron stuff, but there WAS a minor treat today from them, so get hyped). Lets get to Moore and Franklin. Actually, it's OK to do.....because it showed how different things were. This will make some of you laugh. But, Caldwell actually has Franklin lining up...against the D....deliberately throwing INTs (you may ask: couldn't Stafford do that himself? biggrin). My guess is we are teaching or trying to teach turnovers. It would be nice to have a defense that actually makes quite a few.

This looks to be his value and, if I had to guess, he is headed to the practice squad.

So, what of Kellen and Dan? Well....

Dan looks like Dan. If you saw him in 2008, you saw him today. I don't think I can expect much from him at this point, but it's pretty clear he's cemented as the #2 QB on this roster. For all of us who'd like to bring in Orton or Freeman (it wouldn't bother me one bit)....I don't think there's much chance. He threw some typical short bounce stuff (one of note went to Peacock) and a few wobblers, but for the most part....he looks like a standard Lions starter...from the pre-Stafford era (where you walk away saying "thank God this guy is not actually starting). It's not a slight, it's just thinking....we COULD do better at QB. Backup, for sure.

Kellen. Naturally, he saw VERY limited time. HOWEVER, it wasn't because of him, per se. Actually, he didn't really see the field in any action until the very last 3 minutes of camp. Spent most of the afternoon with a clipboard, tossing the ball. When he got in there, (that I counted, when somebody wasn't obstructing--DAMN FAMILY DAY!!!) he handed off 5 times and threw 2 passes (one INC or for no gain on the sideline....folks were filing out at this point making it hard to see, I believe it was an INC). I paid close (and I mean CLOSE) attention to the guy (to the point I looked like MORE of a weirdo) just to make sure I didn't miss something about him I've apparently not seen.

In truth....One of his two passes looked spectacular to, I believe, Reese Wiggins. In stride, right down the seam. It was, perhaps, one of the best of the late morning.

Right after, there was a botched snap and the ball flew way over his head, and that was all she wrote. So, he didn't lead a TD drive....Still, this said: my INITIAL thoughts are Kellen could function if we wanted to run the ball 30 times a game and pass 10. But, since we don't, my guess is...we are going to carry 2 QBs with Franklin on the PS. That's just the impression I got. And I've been wrong plenty. So, it's not like I can say with any certainty if the guy will make or won't make the roster. If he doesn't, it's hard to say it's because of his lack of anything....seeing all we really had him do was....hand off.

A couple other very quick notes....Taylor. Dude, this guy is just monster big (never saw him that close up). Fairley? Looks super good in terms of condition. More to come when I have some time.....
The two highlighted parts, first, the music and DJ were also at the practice on Tuesday, along with the "autograph raffle". The second part, on Tuesday they were using the machine to mimic the kicks and the players were running full speed without any blockers, at the returner, and yes Ross looks to be the real deal, real quick feet and cuts.
i'm going to tell you what pissed me off last year.   spurlock got hurt and they let ross take over the duties that week and he was markedly better than spurlock.   it was obvious right then and there.  schwartz and co switched back to spurlock the following week... and it wasn't until spurlock sucked again that they eventually went back to ross. 

i think we're going to see even more good things from ross this year as an O contributor from what i'm hearing. 

also (hopefully vince can report), i'm hearing really good things about ogletree and fuller.  man if even only one of those guys takes a step this year, lookout.  they both have good size and speed.   holy crap... we're going to be giving opposing Ds headaches.
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:35 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



sleats wrote:
ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
Isn't it a bit early in the day to be intoxicated?   biggrin

The day starts at 12 midnight so it's fine.
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:41 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


So Vince,  we're you in the stands or on the sidelines?
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:44 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


Thanks Vince, this info is like candy to us displaced Lions fans!
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:45 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


I kinda think the Lions will go with 2 QBs and Franklin on the PS. He can help the defense during the week practice against a mobile QB, something Moore can't do. If Stafford and Orlovsky both went down would Moore be serviceable? If not, then screw it and give Franklin a shot.

About Calvin, I say the Lions give him plenty of rest. No way do we want to see him injured in TC, get him out there enough to work with Stafford and the 1st team O, but no more than necessary. Same with some of the other vets, like Bush, Tully, Suh, Levy. Also, no rush to see Ansah either, let's be smart about it.

Good to hear about Ross and LeShoure. I've read good things about Corey Fuller too, so we got some depth at a few places anyway.
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:46 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



scottallen222 wrote:
sleats wrote:
ArgentBlue wrote: yeah man.. give us the *real* stuff later ;)

i'm just feeling it and seeing it this year for this team. watch and listen to the players. superimpose the offseason additions on O and D and the maturation of dudes we're bringing along. there's something brewing in allen park and for once i don't think it's kool-aid. :) we'll see though.
Isn't it a bit early in the day to be intoxicated?   biggrin

The day starts at 12 midnight so it's fine.

Gotta be 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
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Posted: 8/2/2014 3:46 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


Vince you been saying for 3 years now that the lions will carry 2 QBs and KM won't even make the practice squad. Each year I've said we will carry 3 and KM will be the number 3. I think that trend will continue.

I've been to 3 camps so far. Counted the snaps each QB is getting. Stafford is getting roughly 50% while Dan O is getting 30% while KM is getting about 20%. Franklin hasn't gotten one snap under center yet. They've used him in drills and even used him as a defender. Franklin appears to be a camp arm and nothing more.

KM has improved his arm strength each year and he's made some super nice passes in practice that I've seen. I think people sometimes forget that KM lead all of our QBs in several preseason stats last year.

I think KM makes the roster and I wonder just how much the kid has to do before he gets a little respect from some fans. I for one think he's a very competent #3.

Dan O also looks very good.

Stafford is completing more passes then he did last year in camp. He looks much more accurate and improved.

Every QB looks good until they throw to Ebron who seems to drop almost everything.
"When I die I want the Detroit Lions to be my pallbearer's so they can let me down one last time." "I hope they sing the song Another One Bites the Dust for me."
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Posted: 8/2/2014 4:34 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 


Good to hear Stafford's shown improvement so far. As for the other QB's, don't really care much for the Polish Pistol or Bieber myself. We're in deep trouble if they hit the field this year.

Also love hearing about Ross. Another man's loss is another man's gain... thank you Green Bay! biggrin




*Suh,Megatron,Best,Broyles*

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Posted: 8/2/2014 5:01 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 




Yes, but the staff is different, Air.

Did you attend today? I'd like to know....

How many runs v passes did you count?

Moore threw like 2 passes today, maybe 3. How can you possibly judge his "arm strength" on that? This is where we disagree. What I saw was....Moore looked like a watered down version of Orlovsky. Turning around and handing Off

And, I agree Franklin is a "camp arm", but in practices, he's doing what a scout team player would do (throwing passes to the defense, for example).

I know you've always supported Moore, but him seeing the field for virtually no time this morning and when he did...handing the ball off....makes me wonder what he's doing out there that's convinced you his arm is strong.

I am going again Monday. I will, again, count the run v the pass. But, today I certainly didn't see a player who had grown, if you did....I appreciate that. But, I would be surprised if they call him one of the best 53.
---------------------------------------------
--- Air2theThrown wrote:

Vince you been saying for 3 years now that the lions will carry 2 QBs and KM won't even make the practice squad. Each year I've said we will carry 3 and KM will be the number 3. I think that trend will continue.

I've been to 3 camps so far. Counted the snaps each QB is getting. Stafford is getting roughly 50% while Dan O is getting 30% while KM is getting about 20%. Franklin hasn't gotten one snap under center yet. They've used him in drills and even used him as a defender. Franklin appears to be a camp arm and nothing more.

KM has improved his arm strength each year and he's made some super nice passes in practice that I've seen. I think people sometimes forget that KM lead all of our QBs in several preseason stats last year.

I think KM makes the roster and I wonder just how much the kid has to do before he gets a little respect from some fans. I for one think he's a very competent #3.

Dan O also looks very good.

Stafford is completing more passes then he did last year in camp. He looks much more accurate and improved.

Every QB looks good until they throw to Ebron who seems to drop almost everything.

---------------------------------------------
"He was the backup last year. He was a backup the year before that.He's been a back up his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup".

Martin Mayhew on Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Free Press, 2.21.09
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Posted: 8/2/2014 5:04 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



Air2theThrown wrote: Vince you been saying for 3 years now that the lions will carry 2 QBs and KM won't even make the practice squad. Each year I've said we will carry 3 and KM will be the number 3. I think that trend will continue.

I've been to 3 camps so far. Counted the snaps each QB is getting. Stafford is getting roughly 50% while Dan O is getting 30% while KM is getting about 20%. Franklin hasn't gotten one snap under center yet. They've used him in drills and even used him as a defender. Franklin appears to be a camp arm and nothing more.

KM has improved his arm strength each year and he's made some super nice passes in practice that I've seen. I think people sometimes forget that KM lead all of our QBs in several preseason stats last year.

I think KM makes the roster and I wonder just how much the kid has to do before he gets a little respect from some fans. I for one think he's a very competent #3.

Dan O also looks very good.

Stafford is completing more passes then he did last year in camp. He looks much more accurate and improved.

Every QB looks good until they throw to Ebron who seems to drop almost everything.
A song VLG dedicated to Kellen Moore

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra9cFLg4vlY
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Posted: 8/2/2014 5:05 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



Psh! I was on the field!!!

Lol.

Actually I was in the stands at the start, but the metal benches hurt my old ***.....

So I moved toward the goal posts once practice started. I'm not as limber as I once was. Lol.

---------------------------------------------
--- scottallen222 wrote:

So Vince,  we're you in the stands or on the sidelines?

---------------------------------------------
"He was the backup last year. He was a backup the year before that.He's been a back up his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup".

Martin Mayhew on Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Free Press, 2.21.09
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Posted: 8/2/2014 5:10 PM

Re: *shivers* Family Day in Allen Park *shivers* 



Lol.

Oh.....

Once I hear a banjo, I turn it off.

That must be an Idaho thing. :-p

Seriously: like I said....if Moore is cut....it's because (from what I saw today) hes pretty much just handing the ball off. Trust me, if I could find a reason to mindlessly dog him, I would. But, IF he's let go....it's not a talent thing. It's what they're asking him to do. Frankly he didn't throw all that much. So it's really hard to say KM had a fair shot.

Yes, this is me speaking ;-D

---------------------------------------------
--- Fangdog wrote:


Air2theThrown wrote: Vince you been saying for 3 years now that the lions will carry 2 QBs and KM won't even make the practice squad. Each year I've said we will carry 3 and KM will be the number 3. I think that trend will continue.

I've been to 3 camps so far. Counted the snaps each QB is getting. Stafford is getting roughly 50% while Dan O is getting 30% while KM is getting about 20%. Franklin hasn't gotten one snap under center yet. They've used him in drills and even used him as a defender. Franklin appears to be a camp arm and nothing more.

KM has improved his arm strength each year and he's made some super nice passes in practice that I've seen. I think people sometimes forget that KM lead all of our QBs in several preseason stats last year.

I think KM makes the roster and I wonder just how much the kid has to do before he gets a little respect from some fans. I for one think he's a very competent #3.

Dan O also looks very good.

Stafford is completing more passes then he did last year in camp. He looks much more accurate and improved.

Every QB looks good until they throw to Ebron who seems to drop almost everything.
A song VLG dedicated to Kellen Moore

   www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra9cFLg4vlY

---------------------------------------------
"He was the backup last year. He was a backup the year before that.He's been a back up his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup".

Martin Mayhew on Dan Orlovsky. Detroit Free Press, 2.21.09
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