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Inside Allen Park: Lions' Rookies Fight During First Padded Practice

Detroit Lions rookies Amon-Ra St. Brown and Ifeatu Melifonwu get heated during the first padded practice at Detroit Lions training camp.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell stated before Tuesday's practice that the goal of the first padded practice was not for his team to brawl. 

Campbell explained, “I want to see these guys compete. I want to see the guys get to the point where it’s almost an all-out brawl, but there isn’t one.”

Well, it did not take all that long, as rookie wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown and cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu went at it during two separate portions of practice on Tuesday. 

During a special teams drill, St. Brown clearly beat out Melifonwu in the drill, and in the altercation, the ex-Trojans wideout sent the rookie defensive back flying. 

Later on, though, in a one-on-one drill, Melifonwu gave an extra strong push to St. Brown that was clearly in retaliation from earlier. 

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It is evident that the rookie defensive back has more work to do to catch up to Jerry Jacobs, who has had a nice start to training camp.  

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General observations from Tuesday's padded practice

  • Principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp was in attendance at the Allen Park practice facility. She was observed greeting the team's new reporter Dannie Rogers and several beat writers. 
  • Cornerback Quinton Dunbar again was out for the Lions, as he is dealing with a 'personal' matter, according to Campbell. 
  • Several Lions were dinged up as the practice progressed. Wideout Tyrell Williams did not complete practice, as he had tape on his left hand as he walked off the practice field. Levi Onwuzurike was observed early in practice, but did not participate in contact drills. Cornerback Alex Brown also left practice early, while defensive end Michael Brockers was limited and was not observed participating on Tuesday.
  • After the traditional walk-through and warm-up period, it was time for the offensive and defensive lines to square off against each other. 
  • The first noticeable battle was guard Logan Stenberg battling nose tackle John Penisini. 
  • The other noticeable battle was outside linebacker Romeo Okwara locking up and battling against tackle Dan Skipper. 
  • Duce Staley demonstrated the first visible display of anger. Detroit's running backs coach angrily addressed the second-team running backs, and used expletives to encourage them to get out of the huddle faster, as they were observed walking out of the huddle. 
  • Sewell celebrated early on Tuesday. The rookie offensive lineman let out his excitement, after holding his own and pushing back Julian Okwara, who had the early edge since he started his push early. 
  • It was only an average day for Jared Goff. He looked better during 7-on-7 drills without pressure, as he connected with his tight ends and wide receivers. Unfortunately, the defense was again able to intercept one of his passes, giving it four total in the past three days.
  • Early in practice, cornerback Amani Oruwariye intercepted Goff on a badly under-thrown football, which was intended for Breshad Perriman. 
  • Early in camp, David Blough performed better than he did during the past couple of practices. The third-year quarterback threw an interception to Dean Marlowe on a scramble. 
  • Tim Boyle, meanwhile, has taken significant strides forward, and is in the lead to win the backup job. While it is early, Boyle throws a better deep ball than Goff, and it was on display again at Tuesday's practice. Boyle found wideout Quintez Cephus on a deep pass. Cephus beat out AJ Parker on the nice route. 
  • There was a special teams note to report on as practice was near the end. Twice, Detroit ran surprise onside kicks to test the receiving unit. Linebacker Jahlani Tavai successfully recovered for the hands team on the first attempt, but tight end Darren Fells was able to recover it for the kicking team on the second try.