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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Detroit Lions Final OTA Observations: Special Teams on Show

By meerna Jun12,2024

The Detroit Lions headed out for their last open session of organized team activities before heading to training camp.

Many Lions veterans were absent as head coach Dan Campbell had previously stated that the team would be releasing experienced players.

Instead, the latest open training session was aimed at giving young players the opportunity to gain more experience.

Here are observations from Tuesday’s final Lions open OTA session.

Participation

Below is a list of players present at the team’s Tuesday OTA practice:

Offense

2 – Hendon Hooker
33 – Sione Vaki
80 – Jalon Calhoun
83 – Isaiah Williams
88 – Kaden Davis
43 – Parker Hesse
86 – Sean McKeon
59 – Giovanni Manu
63 – Prince Klemens
64 – Bryan Hudson
65 – Kingsley Eguakun
66 – Maciej Farniok
73 – Christian mahogany
75 – Colby Sorsdale
76 – Connor Galvin

Defense

41 – James Houston
45 – Isaac Ukwu
50 – Mitchell Agude
95 – Mathieu Betts
51 – Ben Niemann
53 – DaRon Gilbert
57 – Nate Lynn
0 – Terrion Arnold
15 – Ennis Rakestraw Jr.
31 – Kerby Joseph
35 – Chelen Garnes
39 – Morice Norris
40 – Brandon Joseph
48 – Loren Strickland
90 – Chris Smith
94 – Mechi Wingo
99 – Brodric Martin

Special teams

3 – Jack Fox
17 – Michael Badgley
43 – James Turner
47 – Scott Daly
49 – Hogan Hatten

Observations

1.) Both Lions rookies played on the field. For Ennis Rakestraw, the offseason was focused on recovering from surgery last winter and acclimating to Detroit’s defense.

Rakestraw said Tuesday that he felt comfortable playing at 191 pounds and that the team simply made the cautious decision to limit him in practice. He feels physically ready to contribute.

Arnold looked fluid, energetic and fast during individual drills.

2.) Detroit’s last open practice began with a 7-on-7 session in which point guard Hendon Hooker scored and connected with Isaiah Williams, Parker Hesse and Sione Vaki. Throughout the spring, the young signal-caller from Detroit found comfort and chemistry that helped him achieve his goal.

In the team’s first difficult period of play, starting from their own 35-yard line, the 26-year-old connected with Vaki up the middle for a gain of about 10 yards on an indirect crossing route. Unfortunately, that streak ended with two straight sacks when Mitchell Agude found himself at the line on 3rd and 10.

On the team’s second tight end, starting from the 49-yard line, Hooker connected with Sean McKeon for a big advantage early in the drive. After making contact with Hessa and Williams, Hooker’s worst throw in practice was to Kaden Davis.

3.) The Lions have challenged second-year offensive lineman Colby Sorsdal more this spring as he has worked the entire offensive line during OTAs and minicamp.

“He’s taking the right steps. He’s been working on some of the things we talked about in the offseason. We challenge him more,” offensive line coach Hank Fraley said. “We’ll move him around a little more and stuff like that, positional flexibility because he’s talented enough to do that. He competes well with the guys around him.”

4.) Detroit’s final practices were dominated by special teams drills as the media watched Jack Fox’s kicks, kicks, and return drills for much of the practice. Kaden Davis caught our attention due to his comeback potential.

Linebacker Mitchell Agude caught the attention of the coaching staff with his closing speed on one particular rep against Williams.

5.) Rookie offensive lineman Giovanni Manu ended practice with a false start, unfortunately on 4th-and-1.

Notes

1.) Two Lions ranked in the top 50 in merchandise sales. Defensive player Aidan Hutchinson finished 18th and winger Amon-Ra St. Brown placed 33rd.

2.) Two of Detroit’s preseason games will be nationally televised on NFL Network. The Week 2 matchup with Kansas City, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, and the Week 3 matchup with Pittsburgh, scheduled for Aug. 24, will be played in front of a national audience.

3.) The Lions made a roster change on Tuesday, releasing defenseman Craig James. The defender did not participate in the minicamp due to an injury.

4.) The annual media convention was not held on Tuesday and it is unclear whether the annual competition will be postponed to a later date.

By meerna

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