Lions camp observations: Offense controls line of scrimmage in short-yardage work

Detroit News

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Tuesday’s training camp practice.

► With the team back in full pads, the Lions got in some short-yardage and goal-line work. That section of practice was largely dominated by the offensive line.

Starting with a third-and-short scenario, the first-team offense unloaded a variety of play calls to pick up conversions. That included a power run by Jamaal Williams off the right side of the line, an end-around to Kalif Raymond and a wheel route out of motion that found T.J. Hockenson wide open down the sideline.

The first-team defense’s only stop came when Alim McNeill and Aidan Hutchinson converged to stuff the running back behind the line of scrimmage.

The second-team offense converted two of their three reps, with linebacker Josh Woods dropping running back Jermar Jefferson just short of the line to gain for the defense’s lone win.

► From there, the ball was moved to the 1-yard line where the offense continued to thrive. The first and second units combined to score on all five attempts on the ground, with Williams and Jefferson each getting into the end zone twice. On one, Williams ran into a brick wall of bodies up the middle, but was able to spin out of trouble and squeak around the left edge.

The defense’s only stop on six snaps came when quarterback Jared Goff faked the handoff and rolled right. Holding it a few extra ticks because nothing was open, Goff’s eventual throw was batted down.

► The top offensive line group continued to impress during one-on-one pass-rush work later in practice with all five starters winning their first reps. Charles Harris prevented a shutout on the second trip through the lineup, getting past left tackle Taylor Decker with a quick and effective spin move after his initial rush move was shut down.

Among the backups, offensive tackle Darrin Paulo continues to stand out, winning reps against both Hutchinson and John Cominsky, although Cominsky got through on a rematch.

Defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs scored a couple of wins for the other side, including an impressive head-to-head rep against backup center Evan Brown, who has been rock solid with his assignments all camp. Buggs also obliterated third-string Ryan McCollum.

Later in practice, Buggs had a pass-rush win in full-team work, ending with the big-bodied defensive tackle batting down a throw in the backfield.

► Detroit offensive coordinator Ben Johnson gave fans in attendance a treat, calling for a trick play early in full-team work. It saw a short, backward pass thrown back to Goff before the quarterback connected with DJ Chark on a long throw on a deep crossing route.

► Speaking of Chark, he continued his streak of practices with a jaw-dropping play. Running along the back of the end zone, Goff floated one to the receiver, who made an impressive one-arm catch while going to the ground.

► Raymond also had some success with the deep ball, blowing by the coverage of Mike Hughes and Jeff Okudah on separate reps for long gains.

► A day after we wrote about Austin Seibert’s edge in the kicking battle, the clubhouse leader missed two of his three attempts, sending efforts from 53 and 42 yards wide right. Riley Patterson, who is trying to close the gap in the competition, responded by making all three of his boots from 42, 46 and 53 yards.

► Put another tally in the sack column for Austin Bryant after he blew past rookie tight end James Mitchell and had the coaches whistling the play dead about two seconds after the ball was snapped.

More: Bryant embraces ‘process’ as he works to carve out role on new-look D-line

► In red zone work, backup quarterback Tim Boyle was forced to roll to his right when Bruce Hector charged into the backfield. Extending the play as long as possible, Boyle heaved a hanging, wobbler to receiver Tom Kennedy, who made a toe-tapping catch in the end zone.

Boyle, mocking his own throw for being a duck, performed a celebration mimicking the old Nintendo game “Duck Hunt.”

► Boyle had less to laugh about on the next snap. Despite an incredible blitz pickup by running back Craig Reynolds, the quarterback rushed a throw directly into the chest of linebacker Jarrad Davis, who held on for the interception.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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