Lions minicamp observations: Highs and lows for Jameson Williams; Moseley progressing

Detroit News

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Thursday’s mandatory minicamp practice, the third and final of the three-day offseason event.

▶ It was another day of situational football, with the veterans practicing for the final day before July’s training camp. The primary scenario saw the offense taking over at their own 25-yard line, down nine points, with 1:59 on the clock and all three timeouts remaining.

The first-team offense moved quickly downfield, but not without some hiccups. The big play was quarterback Jared Goff connecting with Amon-Ra St. Brown down the sideline, between the corner and safety, for a 28-yard gain to the 20-yard line. Two plays later, Goff found Jameson Williams wide open in the back of the end zone, but the receiver couldn’t hang on to the pass.

Williams was able to make up for that error a few plays later, adjusting his route on a scramble drill and elevating for a toe-tapping touchdown grab in the same area of the end zone.

Defensively, Ifeatu Melifonwu continued his strong early offseason with a pass breakup on a deep throw intended for Kalif Raymond, while linebacker Alex Anzalone smothered running back Jahmyr Gibbs‘ wheel route into the end zone, forcing an incompletion.

After simulating an onside recovery, the offense had 55 seconds to move 25 yards or so into field goal range for a hypothetical, game-winning try. Again, St. Brown came up with a big grab, coming wide open after a broken coverage, putting the team well inside range.

▶ The second-team offense wasn’t able to find the end zone, despite picking up a defensive pass-interference call against rookie Steven Gilmore, followed by a pretty sideline throw from quarterback Nate Sudfeld to Raymond between a pair of defenders.

Williams had a practice segment to forget, working with the second unit. Going across the middle, he dropped a high ball that hit both hands, had a deep shot broken up by safety Saivion Smith and couldn’t come down with a ball in the back of the end zone against triple coverage, landing hard on the leaping effort. Smith, who was in coverage on that play, as well, tossed some gentle trash talk Williams’ way on multiple occasions.

▶ Michael Badgley didn’t attempt a kick during minicamp, but still managed to solidify his pole position in the battle for that job. It was a little windy on Thursday, for sure, but both Riley Patterson and Parker Romo struggled with a healthy batch of kicks between 43-53 yards.

Romo won the day’s competition, going 7-for-11, and showing the bigger leg overall, but he also had a lot of inconsistent strikes, leading to several of his efforts knuckling off his foot. Patterson, meanwhile, finished 6-for-11.

▶ In what is likely an unofficial audition for a role in a trick play for Ben Johnson’s playbook, the Lions had their skill-position players throwing deep passes early in practice. Josh Reynolds and Gibbs had nice tosses, with the receiver lofting a ball into the end zone with good pace and trajectory, while Gibbs’ ball was more of a 20-yard rope.

But the true highlight of the segment was Goff running downfield and hauling in an impressive one-handed snag on a throw from tight end Shane Zylstra. Hopefully, the team posts that highlight on their Twitter page.

▶ Every day, it’s felt like cornerback Emmanuel Moseley has been a little more physically active during the walkthrough portion to open practice. He might not be ready at the start of training camp, but all signs point to the veteran getting medical clearance before the start of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job with Jerry Jacobs and Will Harris, who got the first-team reps opposite Cam Sutton on Thursday.

▶ Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson was in the house for the second time this offseason. He was doing some final preparations for his annual youth camp, which is being held at the Lions’ facility this weekend. Of minor note, Johnson exchanged a handshake and pleasantries with team president Rod Wood, who was persona non grata for the franchise great during his extended feud with the team over a reclaimed portion of his signing bonus following his retirement in 2015.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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