Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell explained prior to the final veteran minicamp practice what the team had accomplished over the past few weeks.
"We’ve gotten in first-and-second-down work, base and sub. We’ve gotten in third-down work, and that’s third-and-short-to-third-and-long. We’ve gotten in red zone, that’s high red, that’s low red, that’s two-point and it’s fourth-down plays from the 12 (yard line) to the eight (yard line), which are the hardest places to score at," Campbell explained in detail.
He added, "Today, it’ll be two minute. So, we’ll do some stacks, bunches. We’ve done things in the walk-through. We’ve got some heavy sets, 22-, 13-personnel, and now, we’re going to finish with two-minute. So, really, we’ve kind of got the core in. The core of the offense and defense and special teams, we’ve at least kind of built somewhat of a foundation; they actually know what it looks like."
Here are the main observations from Day 3 of minicamp.
Who was there
Jeff Okudah was back at practice on Thursday. He participated in positional drills, but was wearing a bandage over his right eye after colliding with wide receiver Damion Ratley on Day 2.
Despite limited participation, Okudah was heavily involved on the sideline during the Lions' two-minute drill.
He was spot on in calling out the Lions' offense, and provided support when defensive backs had good coverage.
Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and defensive lineman Austin Bryant were present, but did not participate in practice.
Safety Tracy Walker was also not available for practice.
The first-team secondary was comprised of Amani Oruwariye and Quinton Dunbar at cornerback, with Will Harris and Dean Marlowe at safety. Mike Ford occupied the slot cornerback position.
The Lions concluded drills with two groups conducting 7-on-7s in a two-minute drill.
Quarterback Jared Goff effectively ran the two-minute offense, and found tight end T.J. Hockenson for an eight-yard touchdown.
Backup Tim Boyle was also effective in the two-minute drill until cornerback A.J. Parker intercepted him at the goal line.
Like most of minicamp, both the offense and defense were rowdy in their support of each other.
Wideouts looking to challenge each other
Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown performed well during minicamp.
While he is not the tallest wideout on the roster, his attention to detail was noticeable all week.
Tyrell Williams noted after practice that he and Breshad Perriman are looking to make plays and have been consistent all week.
It is obvious that the offense is going to take chances deep sparingly, so the work has mostly been in the intermediate and short passing games.
Williams and Perriman should be the team's top wideouts, while Quintez Cephus and St. Brown continue to develop.
On Thursday, Williams made a solid grab on a deflected pass by a defender.
Final organized team activities next week
Campbell was asked what the team will look to accomplish next week at voluntary OTAs.
“I think we’ll be going very similar to what we’re doing now. I would love to trim back some of the early individual stuff, maybe some of the walkthrough stuff, and just get one more segment of competitive 7-on-7 or kind of release work, stacks, bunches, things like that. I think it’ll be very similar to now," he said. "The focus will be the young guys, our players and any players that will stick around. It’ll be some of our rookies, some of those one-, two-year guys. There are some guys that I know that are staying (that) are three-year vets, four-year vets. It’ll be good.”
Looking ahead to training camp
While most of the coaching staff will take some time off, when the coaches return ahead of training camp, details will be the focus.
"When you go into (training) camp, they know what it looks like. Now, we can start to really coach up the details, because look, we’ve thrown a lot at these guys. For me, to be able to know that we’ve gotten that in, and now once we go in, like I said, in training camp, now, we can really start to hone in on the details of it. That’s really my focus," Campbell said. "All I can worry about it is how do we get these guys to improve a little bit every day. Every day. No different than the season. We need to be a better team in Week 18 than in Week 1, a much better team. That is the focus more than anything else. It will always be about us, before any other opponent.”
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