Patricia impressed with Lions' 'focus' in offseason

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions have moved into phase two of the team’s offseason. The next three days, starting Tuesday, will be first time coach Matt Patricia and his staff will be able to work with players on the field.

There are still plenty of restrictions this time of year. There’s no contact, players are limited to individual drills, and any work between the offense and defense, such as the receivers going one-on-one against the defensive backs, is still prohibited.

But this stretch is important because it’s the first time the players will be introduced to the basic schematic concepts Patricia is looking to install this season, through both on-field work and in the classroom.

“I think this is definitely an interesting kind of segment in the offseason program because we’re really just coming out of phase one,” Patricia said, referencing the past two weeks, where players were limited to supervised workouts with the team’s weight room staff. “We really haven’t had a chance to be on the field with them at all or anything from that standpoint.

“It’s kind of an in-between going into phase two, but yet some of our requirements are a little bit looser, so we’re allowed to do some more things. You’ve got to be careful as far as how fast you go. From a standpoint of these guys are just getting into the routine of the offseason and we want to make sure that we’re progressing in a manner that is building over a course of time to get ready, obviously, for OTA’s, mini-camp and then training camp.”

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The workouts, which are voluntary, are expected to be attended by most of the roster. A few players, who Patricia declined to list, will be held out of action following offseason surgery.

“The good thing is like some of these guys, there’s certain facets they can do when we’re on the field,” Patricia said. “There’s not the hardcore time restriction that you get into in some of the different phases. So, if we do some walk-through type things, or some learning meetings on the field, those guys can do that stuff, which is great.”

And even though it’s still early in the getting-to-know-you process, Patricia said the one thing he’s really been pleased with to this point is the overall enthusiasm of his players.

“What’s been awesome is just their focus,” he said. “Their attention right now is at an all-time high, which is great for me. So, the messages can be clear. I think they are just very eager to learn. I would say that’s the biggest thing right now, how receptive these guys — they want to know.”