Lions camp observations: New coordinator Aaron Glenn pushes his defense

Detroit News

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from the Detroit Lions first training camp practice Wednesday.

► These observations are probably going to be light for the first few days of camp. Before practice, coach Dan Campbell laid out his plan to slowly get the players reacclimated. He said the first two days of practice would consist of 40 full-speed reps, total, with 16 for the first-team offense and defense.

► Outside of the four players on the various inactive lists (PUP, non-football injury and COVID), the Lions were largely healthy. One player who was noticeably banged up was cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who entered the day with a slight limp and was wearing a full sleeve on his left leg. He sat out much of the individual and team portions.

► Former owner Martha Ford was in attendance. She stayed away from the team much of last year during the pandemic.

► Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn wasted little time pushing his players to the max, having the full unit do more than three dozen up-downs at the start of practice. Some players handled the grueling drill well, while others, including Trey Flowers and Shaun Dion Hamilton, were noticeably laboring through the second half of the reps.

Impressively, Campbell joined in and more than held his own up until the final couple of reps, where the 45-year-old started to gas.

► Remember the ATV former coach Matt Patricia used to get around the field last season? Well, it’s being repurposed, helping lug equipment such as speakers around the practice fields.

Another Patricia addition that looks like it will be retired is the running hill, which resulted in at least one injury last season.

► The Lions rotated multiple players in through first-team reps, including linebacker Jahlani Tavai and tight end Alize Mack, giving them exposure with the top groupings. Rookie defensive tackle Alim McNeill, on the other hand, was a fixture with the first defensive group.

► While the Lions worked on punt return and punt coverage, it was receivers Kalif Raymond, Victor Bolden, Tom Kennedy and Amon-Ra St. Brown divvying up the return reps.

► After much outside discussion about the idea the past couple of years, offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby got some work at guard, in addition to his standard offensive tackle reps.

It’s worth noting the Lions were a little light on the inside given Evan Brown was placed on the non-football injury list, but it makes sense that the team would want to explore how much Crosby is capable of doing now that he’s been bumped from the starting lineup by the addition of Penei Sewell.

Matt Nelson also got some reps at guard on Wednesday.

► In 7-on-7 action, quarterback Jared Goff was crisp, completing his first four passes, although most of the throws were check downs and his only downfield throw, to T.J. Hockenson, was the result of a busted coverage.

Between the backup quarterbacks, David Blough had a better day than Tim Boyle.

► Rookie cornerback Jerry Jacobs can feel good about his first camp practice. He broke up two passes, including a deep ball near the end of the session that drew an rowdy reaction from his teammates.

► All-Pro punter Jack Fox appeared to be shaking off a little rust. While he bombed quite a few, he also uncharacteristically shanked a couple others.

► We shouldn’t expect to see too much physicality until the pads come on for the first time early next week, but linebacker Alex Anzalone delivered a thumping hit on a swing pass to dislodge the ball from the intended target.

► Chris Spielman raved about rookie Derrick Barnes in a call with season-ticket holders earlier this offseason and the former Lions star and current special advisor to ownership looks to be taking the young linebacker under his wing. After practice, the two left the field together and lingered near the entrance of the facility for several minutes in  conversation.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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