Lions camp observations: Redding still popping, Shead works as first-team CB
Allen Park -- Here are some notes and observations from Friday's Detroit Lions training camp practice.
• Defensive Ziggy Ansah is starting camp on the physically unable to perform list with an unknown injury, but he got some work in with a trainer on the sidelines during the session, first pounding on an oversized tire with a sledgehammer before doing some waves on the battles ropes.
As for linebacker Devon Kennard and defensive end Cornelius Washington, both on the non-football injury list, they did some light running on the side. Washington appeared to have a bit of a hitch in his gait, but Kennard seemed to be moving well. Asked what was holding back Kennard, coach Matt Patricia merely offered, "He's not quite ready to go."
• Friday's practice was long, about 2.5 hours, but it wasn't a particularly grueling session. The pacing almost seemed methodical as the Lions begin their buildup to the preseason opener, Aug. 10 at Oakland.
• Both safety Tavon Wilson and guard Joe Dahl were out of the red, no-contact jerseys they had been wearing earlier in the offseason.
• The first team drill of the morning worked the linebackers and safeties covering tight ends and slot receivers in play-action situations. As a light rain fell, quarterback Matthew Stafford misfired on his first couple throws, with Quandre Diggs, Christian Jones and Jalen Reeves-Maybin all breaking up passes.
The best catches in the practice segment came on a back-line adjustment by tight end Michael Roberts and a leaping grab by undrafted rookie Deontez Alexander against tight coverage from cornerback Chris Jones.
• Frank Ragnow continued to work as the starting left guard. The second-team offensive line saw Tyrell Crosby at left tackle and Corey Robinson as the right bookend.
• The team continued to work a blitzing drill with the linebackers, making sure each knows their gap assignments on the various calls. Rookie Chad Meredith had an impressive rep, looping around on a stunt and blowing past the guard, drawing a round of praise from one of the coaching assistants.
• During a seven-on-seven in the red zone, with the ball placed at the 5, the offense dominated. Marvin Jones got the best of Darius Slay along the back of the end zone, Luke Willson outran Christian Jones on a short out route and Stafford threaded a low throw on a slant to Jace Billingsley between two defenders.
Billingsley put together a nice first day, catching everything thrown his direction.
• When the linemen were added in for some full-team scrimmaging, Marvin Jones got the best of Slay again, while Teo Redding came up with the catch of the day, stretching his arms around Chris Jones to snag a touchdown.
Redding, the undrafted rookie who had a stellar minicamp taunted after the play, with the spoon-to-mouth gesture popularized by Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot.
• Speaking of Redding, the team had him returning some punts.
• DeShawn Shead took the first-team cornerback reps opposite Darius Slay, while Teez Tabor got most of his work with the second unit. Tabor had an up-and-down day, getting beat by Redding and Bradley Marquez on two snaps, but the second-year corner also got his hands on at least four passes.
Shead struggled when matched up against Marvin Jones, who twice caught back-shoulder fades over the defender in the end zone.
• It will be a few weeks before we get any clarity on the running back depth chart, but LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner got most of the first-team work on Friday, with Ameer Abdullah and Kerryon Johnson largely working with the second grouping.
• The lone turnover on the day was an interception by defensive lineman Toby Johnson. The Matt Cassel pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and ultimately corralled by the 300-pound interior lineman.