6 Thoughts From Lions’ Minicamp
By: Eric Thomas
1. Reggie Bush brings a dimension to the offense that was sorely lacking last year and—to be honest—is a major upgrade over Jahvid Best. He can line up in the slot, has better hands, runs faster and has a stutter step. He’s a known threat that teams must account for; the name on the back of his jersey is just as important as his ability. Bush was asked after practice how the Lions’ offense compares to Sean Peyton’s scheme in New Orleans. “It’s pretty similar,” he said, “…from a terminology standpoint it’s a little bit easier to learn.” It’s early, but Lions fans should be very happy to have him on the team. Reggie Bush could be the missing piece, and he’s getting acclimated quickly.
2. Ziggy Ansah is a freak of nature. There is little doubt that the Lions drafted a guy with superstar potential. He’s taller than he looks on tape, partly because he plays with such a low center of gravity. If you’re a pad level guy, Ansah makes you drool. His arms are deceptively long, look for him to knock down passes underneath—that’s good news for a team that plays Green Bay twice a year. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham tempered the enthusiasm after practice, reminding the media that while Ansah has all the physical tools, “He needs pads.” We also need to see him take an NFL block. Your optimism in the Lions’ first round pick is justified.
3. Glover Quin looked like the biggest off-season acquisition in Wednesday’s drills. He breaks to the ball well; especially he slapped away a pass from Matt Stafford. He’s a professional, veteran talent in a secondary that needs desperate help. Cunningham praised him as a quiet man who does his job after practice, a welcome addition for a team whose circus was only missing three rings last year.
4. Matt Stafford looked rusty. Maybe that’s a credit to the Lions’ improved secondary, because Stafford has been used to practicing against inferior talent. Bill Bentley and Glover Quin both broke up passes. Calvin Johnson dropped a long bomb down the sideline, but caught a touchdown in a red zone drill. There isn’t any tea leaves to read, but the quarterback looked a little shaky on the second day of minicamp.
5. Kickalicious appears to be a bust. He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn during practice Wednesday, the ball sailed wide right and left on multiple kicks from only thirty yards out. David Akers will kick for the Lions this year, and he likely knows it, because he was in high spirits through much of the minicamp on Wednesday. A gray shirted retiree by the name of Jason Hanson was seen mingling among the kickers, no word on how was helping (I’m sure you can speculate). It’s really weird to see a group of Lions kickers and not see a number four.
6. Ryan Broyles had a massive smile on his face. He seems to be getting accustomed to the rehab room, even suggesting that it’s easier to come back from your second ACL tear. If anyone would know, it’s him. Fingers crossed that Broyles can turn his enthusiasm into a monster sophomore season, the Lions need him.
Random thoughts: Devin Taylor is a monster. He’s worth keeping an eye on. It’s hard not to notice new TE Joseph Fauria. The guy is 6-7 and stand out like a sore thumb. If he can develop this summer, it would be a weapon to have a TE that tall.