Camp observations: Lions work on 2-minute drill
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from the Detroit Lions’ training camp practice on Wednesday:
* For the first time this camp, the Lions worked on the two-minute drill. The offense was put in two different situations. First, the unit needed a touchdown, starting from their own 35-yard line with 90 seconds remaining.
The first-team offense got off to a hot start, with quarterback Matthew Stafford connecting on three consecutive short throws. But two incompletions later the group was staring at 25 yards to go with four seconds remaining, only to have a false start push them back another five. On what should have been the final snap, Stafford heaved a desperation throw across his body to Golden Tate. The pass fell to the ground, but cornerback Nevin Lawson was hit with a pass interference, giving the offense one more opportunity from the 1-yard line, which Stafford used to sneak the ball across the goal line.
The second-team offense didn't receive the same bail out from the defense. After stalling out at the 29-yard line, quarterback Dan Orlovsky tried to connect with Andre Roberts in the end zone, but the play was well defended by cornerback Crezdon Butler.
Finally, the third unit, led by rookie Jake Rudock, mustered just one first down and was undone by a holding penalty.
In the second scenario, the offense started at its own 42-yard line and had to 51 seconds and no timeouts to move into field-goal range. The first-team carved up the defense, setting up a chip shot for Matt Prater. The second group was a disaster, going backward after a pair of penalties. The Rudock-led third unit didn't complete a pass, again turning the ball over on downs.
* In one-on-one drills, the receivers worked against the defensive backs from the three-yard line, running primarily fades to the back corner of the end zone or quick slants just across the goal line. Darius Slay had a strong showing, blanketing Marvin Jones on an attempted comeback and knocking away a fade to tight end Eric Ebron. Also shining was cornerback Keith Lewis, an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of Virginia University of Lynchburg. He didn't allow a reception, getting a hand on two of the three passes.
* Defensive end Wallace Gilberry has been working as a nickel pass-rusher from the inside. That makes sense since he's essentially replacing Jason Jones on the roster.
* Although the team wasn't in full pads, they did a quick pass-rush drill between the offensive and defensive lineman. Riley Reiff continues to dominate, pancaking defensive end Devin Taylor in their lone rep. Ziggy Ansah got the best of Taylor Decker on the other side, as the rookie wasn't able to get deep enough with his kick slide to negate the defensive end's speed rush.
Rookie Joe Dahl rebounded from a bad showing on Monday to stuff defenders Wallace Gilberry and Gabe Wright on separate snaps, while Graham Glasgow continued to struggle, losing reps against defensive tackles Stefan Charles and Louis Palmer.
There was nearly another altercation during the drill, following a Monday skirmish between Charles and Laken Tomlinson, but rookie Anthony Zettel thought better of it, walking away from Corey Robinson after a heated exchange.
* Rookie receiver Jay Lee has had a strong offseason to this point, but he put a couple catchable passes on the ground during the evening practice.