August 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Lions camp observations: Defense brings the heat

Allen Park — The Lions practiced in full pads for the first time in training camp Friday, and the team showed a bit more intensity, especially on defense.

In a 2-minute drill defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and defensive end George Johnson both applied heavy pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford, forcing the first-team offense to fail to score in two simulated game situations.

Coach Jim Caldwell, though, didn’t want to say whether the drills was good defense or bad offense.

“We don’t try to put a label on stuff like that today,” he said. “That’s really not the goal and aim. What we try and do is make them be proficient as we possibly can, but make them play in different situations.”

The second-team offense looked much better in its 2-minute drills, scoring a touchdown thanks to two long passes from Dan Orlovsky to Corey Fuller and Jeremy Ross and scoring a field goal on the second.

With the Lions wearing pads for the first time, Caldwell said he put an extra emphasis on players staying off the ground to avoid injury.

“Obviously, when you first get them in pads the first time around, you really want to see them play low with pad level, but yet stay off the ground,” Caldwell said. “We don’t want a bunch of guys falling on one another’s legs. We were able to get some pretty big pops out there. I think we got some pretty good work done.”

The Lions didn’t do much inside run work Friday, but Caldwell said they will next time they’re in pads.

On Saturday, the Lions will scrimmage for much of practice.

“Nothing is ever going to be perfect, but you just want guys to go out there and compete,” safety James Ihedigbo said of the scrimmage.

Here are some other observations from Friday’s camp:

*The defense spent much of the individual periods working on turnover drills. The secondary, linebackers and defensive line all participated in a tip drill, and the players in the front seven all worked on forcing and recovering fumbles.

*The kickers looked much better Friday. Nate Freese went 5-for-5 with a long of 53 yards, and Giorgio Tavecchio went 6-for-6 with a long of 53. Tavecchio’s sixth kick, a 41-yarder, came after the second-team offense got into field-goal range on a 2-minute drive.

*Cornerback Rashean Mathis had an impressive interception of Stafford when covering Golden Tate in one-on-ones.

*Calvin Johnson had an impressive diving catch on a crossing route, which was surprising to see after he said this week he would try to stay off the ground.

*Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree continued to impress, burning Bill Bentley on a stop-and-go route for an easy one-on-one touchdown.

*Tight end Joseph Fauria has had a really impressive camp catching the ball, and even though he had a drop Friday, he had a highlight when he got behind rookie cornerback Nevin Lawson on a stop-and-go route.

*Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), wide receiver TJ Jones (shoulder), offensive tackle Michael Williams (unspecified) and offensive guard Alex Bullard (unspecified) all remained out.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh works on knocking the ball free from Devin Taylor during drills. / Daniel Mears / The Detroit News