We highlight and offensive and defensive player that stood out on Saturday and talk about the pads coming on for the first time Sunday.
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from the Detroit Lions’ training camp practice on Saturday:
■There was an issue with things on the ground on Saturday, namely footballs and bodies. Far too many passes were dropped, something sure to irk coach Jim Caldwell. But maybe not as much as players unnecessarily diving. The coach had to remind several players to stay on their feet during the session. There’s no need for purposeless injuries at this stage.
■Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah joined the punt-return rotation, making the group six deep. Abdullah is still wearing a red, no-contact jersey while coming back from offseason shoulder surgery. On those punt returns, TJ Jones and Andre Roberts both broke free for big gains.
■Nevin Lawson had a strong day of practice, doing an excellent job throughout the day of mirroring his assignments. Typically the young cornerback relies on his hands to stay with a receiver, but his footwork was on point this day.
■Cornerback Johnson Bademosi was primarily brought in via free agency for his special teams prowess. With the way he’s struggled in coverage so far this offseason, it’s difficult imagining him getting many defensive snaps during the season.
■The Lions reintroduced a popular concept from Caldwell’s first season with the Lions, splitting the team into two groups for simultaneous full-team scrimmages. It’s a great way to get some extra reps for the backup players, better preparing them for the regular season. Noteworthy from the split was rookie Graham Glasgow working as the second-team center.
■While it was unclear whether the team was playing zone or man coverage, quarterback Matthew Stafford was attacking the area of the field patrolled by middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead during a 7-on-7 segment, completing three consecutive passes to tight ends.
■In addition to Lawson, projected starting nickelback Quandre Diggs had a nice practice. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin has shown a knack for using his large frame to establish and maintain inside position on defenders, but Diggs was able to reach around Boldin and knock away a low throw at the goal line during red zone work.
■The Lions will conduct its first padded practice on Sunday.