I've decided to continue with the Three Cups Deep-style quick hits throughout training camp; there's so much info coming out now that I've gotta hustle to skim off the cream of the crop and dollop it in your morning joe. Monday’s practice sessions didn’t see a lot of new storylines break; rather, we saw a lot of the same storylines develop:
- DT Landon Cohen continued to impress. According to Tom Kowalski over at Mlive.com, Cohen followed up his jaw-dropping 50-rep performance in the bench press this weekend by making play after play on Monday. Some folks are already calling him “Cohen the Barbarian”, which I find hilarious—those doing so are likely unaware of the literary allusion they make. Cohen celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday, and as he says this is indicative of his “grown-man strength kicking in”. I should emphasize that there are plenty of rookies drafted in April whose 23rd birthday was a lot further back in time than yesterday. Cohen, if he can continue to develop like this, could be the surprise gem that saves the Lions’ defense—in a year or two. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of who these reps came against—and if it was linemen like Damion Cook and Dylan Gandy, we can’t start toasting Cohen’s breakout just yet. Don’t forget, recent Lions past is full of traning camp rags-to-riches stories that never panned out. Greg Blue, “Blue” Adams, David Kircus, Scotty Anderson . . .
- The Detroit News’ John Niyo writes that DT Sammie Hill is getting a lot of special attention from defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz. There’s a few great quotes from Schwartz in that story about how scouting Hill reminded him of scouting Leon Lett—and frankly, thoughts about the next Big Cat in Honolulu Blue get me all hot and bothered. Here’s another difference between Schwartz and Marinelli: instead of the defensive line coach stopping defensive line drills to work with a guy like Hill—the head coach would stop team drills to work with a guy like Hill! Okay, that might be a sight exaggeration, but still—Schwartz is excited to see Hill in practice and watch the game film afterwards; NOT spending big chunks of practice working on fine points of technique with individual players. Schwartz is coaching the coaches, and letting the coaches coach the players—exactly as it should be.
- Killer also wrote a nice little piece on that exact point: Schwartz spending time with both the offense and the defense—and how his coaching to “situations” and mentally tying what they’re doing on the practice field to what they do in games so wildly varies from Marinelli’s.
- Before the first all-roster minicamp, I wrote about ‘key performance indicators”, things that fans should watch for to see if real progress is being made. One of those was the matchup of the receivers versus the corners; since we know for a fact that Megatron is an elite wideout, how the Lions’ corners fare against him will be a great measuring stick for how they’re doing in general. So far, the results are looking good; according to the Free Press’s Nick Cotsonika, #1 CB Phillip Buchanon has been holding his own. Killer reports that former EMU standout Chris Roberson got some reps with the ones when Eric King and Keith Smith both took the morning off with minor injuries—and did extremely well.
As always, stay tuned both here and at my Twitter feed for the latest!