Mini-Camp Breakdown

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Matt Baker
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Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:27 pm

Good Day Folks,

As most of you know, our three-day mini-camp begins Wednesday at the Surrey practice field. I sat down with Ryan Rigmaiden, Director of U.S. Scouting, to preview OTA and talk about each position battle. This article includes a full roster. Interesting to point out that he says this crop of defensive linemen is the deepest we have had since he took over as a scout six years ago. He said the same thing about the defensive backs last year and it held true with the likes of Fenner, Gaitor and Purifoy all earning starting roster spots at various points of the season.

http://www.bclions.com/2017/04/25/2017- ... breakdown/

B.C.FAN
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Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:46 pm

Thanks, Matt. Even though it's only made up of rookies and backups, it's great to see a depth chart. I don't think I can make it out there for minicamp but the battle for weakside linebacker and defensive line positions will be my main focus at training camp. It's also good to see Jordan Linnen back for a (long)shot at field corner, but the Lions are really deep in national DBs. It's also confirmation that the Lions plan to start a national field corner, likely Keynan Parker or Matt Bucknor.

http://d3ham790trbkqy.cloudfront.net/wp ... Roster.pdf

A few other observations from the depth chart.

- David Foucault is listed at LT, while rookie internationals Adrian Bellard and Nathan Isles are listed at RT. That confirms that the Lions plan to start four nationals on the OL, with a rookie international RT.

- 2016 draft picks Shaq Johnson and Brett Blaszko are listed 1-2 at wide-side wideout (fifth receiver), while the four main receiving positions are occupied by international rookies. That's further confirmation that the Lions plan to start four international receivers (and probably none of the players on the minicamp roster, barring injury).

- Steven Clarke is the only 2016 starter on the minicamp roster, and he's listed at safety. That suggests that either Clarke or the Lions want to gauge his recovery from a season-ending injury, and that safety could be a potential spot for him this year, at least in some packages.

- Luther Maddy will bear watching at nose tackle in minicamp and main camp. He's listed at 285 pounds, which is light compared the Lions' starting interior O-linemen, but he played bigger on tape from his Virginia Tech days.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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Gridiron Ernie
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Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:18 pm

Ok -- now my appetite is whetted! When I see a list of position battles (thanks Matt), followed by a depth-chart (thanks B.C.FAN), I can begin to smell more than just my neighbourhood lawns being mowed for the first time this spring -- I'm getting that salty whiff of sweat-soaked orange-and-black. I'm seeing something/someone fleet of foot zig and zag and in a blinding blur peel off on down the field shadowed by an equally fleet defender... or going the opposite way some giant of man with strength and quickness unceremoniously putting the panicked pivot on his backside... they may very well be names and numbers that quickly blow away outta' here and are forgotten, but now and again there will be keepers, surprises, someone with a name to make! Who knows who? Love it -- though TC's still far off... I'm smelling it. Thanks fellows for providing these couple of nice shrill and thrilling little wake-up whistles.

Qman
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:05 pm

looks like the reason they have all those cdn corners is they are going with a US safety (... bye bye edem and fraser) and i assume a cdn corner on field side


Wally wants more turnovers


http://www.tsn.ca/lions-not-playing-saf ... y-1.736858

B.C.FAN
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:50 pm

Qman wrote:looks like the reason they have all those cdn corners is they are going with a US safety (... bye bye edem and fraser) and i assume a cdn corner on field side

Wally wants more turnovers

http://www.tsn.ca/lions-not-playing-saf ... y-1.736858
Yes. Ed Willes has more on Steven Clarke being pencilled in as the Lions' starting safety, as well as other observations and quotes from minicamp here.

I like the decision to overhaul the secondary to become more aggressive and generate more turnovers. I don't know if Clarke is the right guy to play in the middle but he is an upgrade on Mike Edem. The Lions struggled last year with Edem, Ryan Phillips and Brandon Stewart in the starting lineup. None of them showed ability to break on the ball while it was in the air. The Lions have done a great job of recruiting young international DBs in recent years and will need a couple of rookies from minicamp to step up to fill holes left by the departures of Phillips, Stewart and Anthony Gaitor, as well as to step in for Clarke, Ronnie Yell or T.J. Lee if they are unable to regain the form they showed before their season-ending injuries last year.

I can see Tony Burnett fitting into the secondary, either at Phillips' old halfback spot or as dimeback who can play corner, halfback, nickel or weakside linebacker. The Bombers used him as a linebacker last year when they were hit by injuries but he is undersized for the WILL spot and his background is mainly as a DB. His sub-4.5 speed make him a strong candidate for any secondary position on the wide side of the field.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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David
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:37 pm

Managed to make it out to the OTA today.

Weather conditions: partly to mostly cloudy with temps about 12 degrees, with the sun making brief appearances
Media present: Ed Willes, Farhan Lalji, Lowell Ullrich, Scott Rintoul, Giulio Caravatta (and a guy with a notepad and pen whom I didn't recognize)
Starters present: Travis Lulay, Chris Rainey (Geroy worked extensively with the receivers. Marcel B blew out his Achilles playing soccer in the off-season and was hobbling quite badly on crutches)

* Very fast defense. They were excited, aggressive, and were flying around the football today. They also had a really good spirit, supporting each other when O went up against D.
* I will go on record after 1 (basically) rookie practice as saying that I would bet my mortgage on Micah Awe making this football team. Somewhere. He's very fast, tenacious, and made plays out there, knocking the ball down on one play, and stripping the ball on another. Further evaluation against starters will be needed for proper evaluation of course, but he has an unreal toolbox.
* David Foucault passes the eyeball test. He is very big, but not much fat. Very proportionate (good girth as Dan would say. :wink:). I watched the O-linemen up close (in the drills) and he's got very quick feet and good technique. Could tell that he's been well coached up. He has really big shoes to fill, literally (no Jovan this year), but he was out there at tackle today and looked good.
* Quarterbacks were a bit disappointing to me. Actually, #1 Bryan Scott acquitted himself nicely for the most part and completed a lot of passes in the scrimmage. The guy above him on the depth chart though, #8 Alex Ross, seemed a bit lost out there - like the pro game is a bit too fast for him right now (understandable). He was missing his receivers, and many of his passes fluttered. He's got really good wheels though, as he tucked the ball and ran a couple of times when his receivers were covered or couldn't find anyone open. I wonder if the club brings 5 QBs to camp?
* Among the returning players, Steven Clarke looked good. I also thought Andrew Hudson looked very good at DE and LB Dyshawn Davis, as did Douglas McNeil at WR. Shaq Johnson has unreal speed.
* The rookies that made an impression were: Montario Hunter and Deon Long (receivers), Cleveland Wallace and Matt Smalley (DBs).


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

B.C.FAN
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:49 pm

Thanks for a great report, David. It's nice to have more eyes on practice. I'm looking forward to seeing many of these players at training camp.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

TheLionKing
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:51 pm

Excellent report David

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WestCoastJoe
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Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:16 pm

Great stuff, David. :thup:
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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Bosco
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:18 pm

A few notes from Friday's Mini-Camp practice....or, as it is known on the Lions site: Organized Team Activity:

* I did not attend the first two sessions, but it appears that QB's Alex Ross and Bryan Scott had their best sessions of the week. Passes were accurate and they were to able to hit the short routes as well as a few long balls. Comfort levels will no doubt increase through repetition, but like any new QB's to the league, route reading /(quick) recognition will need to be improved.

* WR's David Richardson & Levi Norwood were noticeable (in a good way) on long routes.

* Strange to see someone else wearing #53 other than Jovon Olifoye - Adrian Bellard (6'5" - 310 lbs) is trying to make the team as a RT.

* The OT that the Lions received for Olifoye - David Foucault just LOOKS like a football player....he should settle in nicely as LT. :beauty:

* Although not dressed, OG Hunter Steward was on hand and looks slim / athletic and trimmed down... as trimmed as someone 320 lbs can look!

* Nice to see pencilled in FS Steven Clarke look comfortable in the backfield, as well as guiding his teammates in calling defensive signals.

* DC Mark Washington very noticeable in guiding the defence.

All in all, a good start in preparation for the main camp in Kamloops. :good:

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Hambone
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:21 pm

You're going to have to stay away from that red wine David. :wink:

Bazzie was #53. Olafioye was #63.
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

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pennw
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:00 pm

Hambone wrote:You're going to have to stay away from that red wine David. :wink:

Bazzie was #53. Olafioye was #63.
Looks like you should stay off it too , as it was not David who posted that :beauty:

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:11 pm

pennw wrote:
Hambone wrote:You're going to have to stay away from that red wine David. :wink:

Bazzie was #53. Olafioye was #63.
Looks like you should stay off it too , as it was not David who posted that :beauty:
Blame Obama. That is what Donald does, for pretty much anything. Ha ha

Didn't vet Michael Flynn? Blame Obama. Sorry. My chuckle for the day.

.........

Another nice breakdown of camp activity. Thanks, Bosco. :thup:
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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Bosco
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:43 pm

I knew that someone else wearing #53 looked different! :tease:

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Hambone
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Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:32 pm

pennw wrote:
Hambone wrote:You're going to have to stay away from that red wine David. :wink:

Bazzie was #53. Olafioye was #63.
Looks like you should stay off it too , as it was not David who posted that :beauty:

Oops. No wine of any flavour for this guy pennw although I was sipping on a beer at Trollers in Horseshoe Bay at the time. That's what I get for not opening up the BlackBerry screen to a bigger font. Should've known since the post didn't have David's signature DH and sunglasses emogi. Sorry David. And Bosco you should cut back the white wine.
You're as old as you've ever been and as young as you're ever going to be.

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