The Lions, lying in wait for the new year (or in this case, the offseason)...
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The vibe was obvious Thursday, the ultimate getaway day on the NFL calendar year.
There was no sadness at the Detroit Lions facility, something that will often come with the end of a regular season. Instead, there was excitement. Optimism. With the weather cooperating and six weeks of downtime oh so close, the last day of mandatory minicamp felt more like how one player described it: The last day of school before summer.
And for Detroit it really was. And the professor of all of this, the man giving out the grades (jobs) and responsible for the teaching (still teaching) appeared happy with the progress.
"We had a real productive couple months with these guys," Caldwell said. "I thought they prepared well. They worked hard. They certainly didn't flinch under all the circumstances that we had to deal with, whether it was raining or cold or whatever it might be.
"I thought they did a nice job of lessening the number of mistakes that we had. We had fewer and fewer mistakes as our practices went on, which is the way it's supposed to be. We were pleased with the effort they gave us as well, so a lot of guys are making real good progress."
The key for Detroit over the next six weeks is that players who made significant phyiscal progress -- like defensive tackle Nick Fairley or receiver Jeremy Ross -- show up in July in the same condition they departed in June.
While the Lions are hoping for this, they won't know until July -- and not much else will be known until then anyway when the team returns for training camp and true preparations for the year.
And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
The Lions end workouts without a deal for Ndamukong Suh. Observations from minicamp and the offseason as a whole. Compared to the rest of the NFL, Matthew Stafford is making a lot of money. Jim Caldwell instilled a culture this offseason.
The Lions offer their World Cup selections.
The Lions worked out offensive lineman Bryce Quigley, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
DeAndre Levy is adjusting to playing weakside linebacker, writes Justin Rogers of MLive.
Some real interesting stuff in here from Robert Klemko of The MMQB about Gunther Cunningham and his father. Worth your time.