Lions camp observations: Detroit puts work into two-minute offense

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Thursday's Detroit Lions training camp practice. 

► The Lions were out of pads for the first time since last Friday. With the emphasis off the more physical elements of the game, the team turned its attention to working on some two-minute drive situations. 

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford calls plays during training camp on Thursday in Allen Park.

Working with 1:10 on the clock, down four and about 65 yards to drive for a touchdown, the first-team offense sputtered. To be fair, quarterback Matthew Stafford was being to ask to run the possession without several starting weapons, including his projected top-three receivers. Instead, he was throwing to Brandon Powell, Jermaine Kearse and Chris Lacy, with Zach Zenner in the backfield. 

A completion to Kearse across the middle gave the offense a fresh set of downs across midfield, but the drive stalled out when Stafford overthrew an open Powell deep down the seam, threw another over the head of Kearse, who was well-covered, and missed deep again when targeting Lacy. 

The second-team offense, running a different scenario where they needed an intermediate gain to set up a field-goal attempt, got the completion, but only because coaches allowed the play to continue after defensive tackle Kevin Strong barged through the line for a would-be sack. 

► Among the interesting lineup shuffling on Thursday, rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye got his first work with the first-team defense. A tall, long prospect, he's shown a knack for getting a hand on the ball early in camp, nearly coming down with interceptions in two recent practices. He ended that drought in a big way during this session. 

Covering Kenny Golladay in the red zone, Oruwariye stayed stride for stride into the end zone and was in position to make the interception when the back-shoulder throw from Stafford was under thrown. Oruwariye also did a nice job dislodging a ball from Marvin Jones in the end zone after the receiver beat him deep. 

► Despite the way it sounds, the day wasn't all bad for Stafford. He displayed outstanding touch on a wheel route to running back Kerryon Johnson, perfectly floating it over the long reach of defensive end Romeo Okwara to hit the target in stride.

If executed the same way in a game, the play would have gone for 40 yards, at least. 

► The running backs worked one-on-one against the linebackers in a receiving drill, with the added twist of lining up split out wide. Johnson looked comfortable in the role, winning reps against both Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Jarrad Davis. C.J. Anderson also had plenty of success, getting grabs against Davis, Reeves-Maybin and undrafted rookie Tre Lamar. 

► Danny Amendola has jokes. After a reception during one-on-one work, the slot receiver gently tossed a ball into the crowd, aiming for a group of cheering high school football players from Detroit Edison Public School Academy.

Unfortunately, no one in the group was able to secure the ball and it fell back over the barrier separating fans from the field. Amendola swung by, picked it up and acted like he was going to toss it back, but kept it instead.

The lesson, drops won't be tolerated at Allen Park. 

► Marvin Jones caught a couple of bombs from Stafford early in practice, beating nickel Justin Coleman for the first, before finding himself uncovered due to a coverage breakdown.

Regardless of how those completions come, that was an extremely important connection for the Lions during the 2017 season. The return of Jones as a deep threat could really open things up for the offense. 

► The nickel spot can be a tough one to evaluate during camp practices, but Coleman hasn't looked particularly sharp in coverage to this point in camp. It could be rust or simply adjusting to a new scheme and surroundings. It will be interesting to see how he looks in the preseason, when we see how he fits as a puzzle piece into the big picture of the defense.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers