Lions camp observations: Devon Kennard gets on track
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Wednesday's joint practice between the Detroit Lions and New York Giants.
■ After starting training camp on the non-football injury list, Devon Kennard has had a relatively quiet couple weeks. It turns out former teammate Ereck Flowers was what the doctor ordered to get Kennard back on track.
The edge-rushing linebacker spent a good portion of the morning in the Giants backfield, and if tackling had been live, probably would have had three sacks on the day. The Lions signed him for his versatility, but if Kennard can rush the passer with any kind of consistency this season, he'll be worth every penny of the three-year, $17.25 million contact he signed this offseason.
■ Another defensive player who stood out was rookie safety Tracy Walker. In seven-on-seven work he broke up a pass and forced Giants tight end Shane Smith to fumble.
■ Ziggy Ansah has already acknowledged he'll be lining up all over in this defensive scheme, but it was interesting to see him getting some work as an interior rusher. He has the size and strength to hold up fairly well against the run from that spot and his athleticism would be tough for most NFL guards to handle when rushing the passer.
■ Lingering concerns about Jarrad Davis' coverage skills could be boiled down to one play from Wednesday's practice, when the linebacker got left in the dust on a go route by Zach Zenner during individual drills.
■ With T.J. Lang and Graham Glasgow not available for the team portions of practice, Detroit's rolled with Kenny Wiggins and Joe Dahl at guard, while rotating Wesley Johnson and Frank Ragnow at center. Not ideal.
■ He might be a man without a position right now, but Miles Killebrew keeps standing out on special teams. He flattened a Giants player while blocking on kickoff work.
■ Tight end Hakeem Valles continues to stack quality practices on top of each other, getting an extended look with the first-team offense. Working with the second-team unit later in the afternoon, he ran a clean post route for a touchdown from Jake Rudock.
■ Despite an interception on Tuesday, safety Glover Quin hasn't looked as sharp this offseason, at least not as much as we're used to seeing. He even got hit with a rare penalty flag when he grabbed Odell Beckham in the back of the end zone and nearly drove the superstar wideout in the goal post directly in front of the official.
■ Practice closed with a two-minute drill. The offense was given the ball at their own 40, with 58 seconds on the clock, needing a field goal.
Detroit's first-team offense was led by Rudock, who was arguably sacked on his first snap, before drawing a 24-yard defensive pass interference on a throw to Kenny Golladay. At the far end of field-goal range, Rudock's next pass was intercepted by cornerback Eli Apple, who anticipated the throw and jumped the route.
The second-team offense worked well into field-goal range with Matt Cassel under center, but Ryan Santono missed the go-ahead kick from approximately 45 yards out as time expired.
■ Detroit's second-team defense did pretty well in the scenario, with Freddie Bishop getting pressure (should have been whistled as a sack) and Jalen Reeves-Maybin and cornerback Chris Jones breaking up passes. Walker made a key tackle in bounds on a QB scramble, keeping the clock moving, and despite Teez Tabor giving up a completion in field goal range, time ran out before the Giants could get the kick up.