Lions camp observations: Backup QBs have better showing, Hand sheds brace
Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Sunday's Lions training camp practice.
► For the second practice in a row, Matthew Stafford wasn't participating as part of a planned stretch off for the quarterback. But on the back end of that back-to-back, the offense was much more in sync.
Working with the first-team offense, David Fales started off the day with a crisper set of throws in one-on-one drills, which he carried over to a seven-on-seven red zone period. There he was a perfect 8-for-8 getting his receivers into the end zone from the 2-yard line.
Fales got a little help from tight end Logan Thomas on the first snap. Thomas was able to tip a wide pass to himself in the back of the end zone to get the best of safety Tracy Walker.
When the Lions moved to full-team work, incorporating the offensive and defensive lines, Fales struggled a bit more, but was still better than he was the day before.
► On the other field, recently signed backup quarterback Josh Johnson worked on red zone route combinations with two receivers against two defensive backs. He was hit or miss in the drill, with one particularly bad throw on a corner pattern to Kenny Golladay coming up well short and getting intercepted by Rashaan Melvin.
► Defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand remained sidelined, but for the first time in more than a week, he was free of the range-of-motion brace he's been wearing on his left arm.
► During a blocking drill, where the wide receiver was expected to keep a defensive back away from a ball carrier, Golladay worked over rookie Amani Oruwariye. Blocking is an often underappreciated aspect of the position and Golladay does it well.
► Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson spent some time working on the edge during Sunday's practice and displayed his trademark ability to get his hands in the passing lane, knocking down one of Fales' passes.
► Ball security issues cropped up a couple times with Kerryon Johnson and newcomer Justin Stockton putting exchanges on the ground. On Stockton's bumble, it appeared there were problems starting with the snap. Defensive tackle P.J. Johnson burst through the line to both disrupt the exchange and recover the fumble.
► Receiver Chris Lacy made the catch of the day, maintaining concentration through a deflection by cornerback Darius Slay in the middle of the field. Slay made sure to finish the pass breakup on the next opportunity, knocking a deep ball away intended for Lacy.
► Speaking of concentration, it might be rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson's best trait. He doesn't seem to be fazed by traffic in tight spaces at all. He showed that again during this practice, making a catch down the seam despite blanket coverage from safety Quandre Diggs.
► Travis Fulgham had a couple of long gains working crossing routes, including one in an end-of-game situation that killed the clock. Fulgham's success had receivers coach Robert Prince excited, as he ran out onto the field to celebrate with the rookie.
► Rookie tight end Isaac Nauta came up limping at the end of practice after blocking on a field goal attempt. His status will need to be monitored the next couple days.
► All Andrew Adams does is pick off passes. The safety has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, which was the case when one of Josh Johnson's passes sailed over the reach of Hockenson.
► In one-on-one pass rush drills, defensive end Trey Flowers won a rep working against offensive lineman Graham Glasgow. That's more work than defensive tackle Mike Daniels has done in drills to this point.
Perhaps the most surprising rep belonged to undrafted rookie Beau Benzschawel, who successfully slowed up Robinson.
Defensive tackle Kevin Strong also continued to turn heads in the drill, blowing by veteran center Luke Bowanko and putting on a late rip move to get around Kenny Wiggins.
► After practice, the local media competed in an impromptu punting competition, with each person getting two punts. I didn't do well, but also didn't totally embarrass myself, shanking both efforts around the 30-yard mark. The winner went 47 yards, while the worst effort traveled just seven.