Lions camp observations: Good start for rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Thursday's training camp practice.
► History and logic tells us there will be bumps in the road during T.J. Hockenson's rookie season. Simply put, the tight end position is one of the most difficult to pick up quickly. But Detroit's first-round draft pick got off on the right foot the first full practice of camp, coming up with a pair of catches in the end zone during red zone drills.
The first was a needle threaded between two defenders, including fellow rookie Jahlani Tavai. Hockenson's route took him to the back corner of the end zone and he showed excellent concentration, seeing the ball into his hands while keeping his feet in bounds, despite heavy traffic near the boundary.
Later in practice, Hockenson made a leaping grab on a ball to his back shoulder over safety Will Harris. The tight end did a nice job rotating his body in the air, securing the ball to his chest and maintaining possession as he went down on his back.
► Beyond the players designated with non-football injuries or physically unable to perform, two others were notably absent from participating during the practice. Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson wasn't spotted on the field during the morning session, while rookie linebacker Malik Carney spent the day working on the side.
Also working on the side, running sprints, was wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, suggesting he's closing in on a return to action.
► The pacing of Thursday's practice was a slow build. The team was carefully eased into a return to action after their summer break and the first padded practices right around the corner.
► Danny Amendola is now wearing No. 80, which he previously donned in Miami and New England. He had been sporting No. 12 prior to tight end Michael Roberts' release.
► Amendola was one of five players working on punt return. Joining him were Jamal Agnew, Brandon Powell, Tom Kennedy and Quandre Diggs.
► Andrew Adams snagged a gimme interception in full-team work. The Tom Savage pass was intended for Brandon Powell, running a post, but was put directly into the defensive back's chest.
Adams was similarly opportunistic playing for the Bucs last season. Despite being on the field for just 35 percent of the team's defensive snaps, he came away with four interceptions.
► Cornerback Teez Tabor earned a nice PBU with strong positioning in zone coverage, leaping up to bat away a deep throw into the end zone intended for Kenny Golladay.