Training camp has concluded, first cuts are a week away and things are starting to shake out -- or get more interesting -- at certain position battles for the Detroit Lions.
Sometimes, snap counts can give a clue where a team is leaning, or at least who is receiving an extended look. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of Detroit’s offensive snaps Friday night against Oakland.
Analysis: Orlovsky played much better in the second preseason game than the first, all but locking up his spot as the No. 2 quarterback. Stafford played enough to show he is making progress with the new offense instituted by Joe Lombardi, as he went 9 of 10 with his only incomplete pass being a potential drop. Once again, James Franklin saw no snaps and it’ll be interesting to see if he is among the first wave of cuts next week.
George Winn, 16 snaps (27 percent); Mikel Leshoure, 13 snaps (22 percent); Reggie Bush, 10 snaps (17 percent); Joique Bell, 8 snaps (14 percent); Theo Riddick, 7 snaps (12 percent); Steven Miller, 4 snaps (7 percent).
Analysis: The Lions really wanted to give Winn a look here, as he is one of the undrafted free agent who could end up swiping a roster spot. He once again ran hard when he was given the ball, and although he had a drop as a receiver, he played well once again. The player whose spot he could steal? Leshoure, who once again didn’t look all that explosive. Everyone else’s snaps made sense.
Analysis: Not much to read into here. The fullback decision will likely be made as much by who the team keeps at running back and special-teams value as anything the fullback can bring. Abram remains a strong practice squad candidate.
Patrick Edwards, 24 snaps (41 percent); Jeremy Ross, 21 snaps (36 percent); Corey Fuller, 18 snaps (31 percent); Golden Tate, 17 snaps (29 percent); Andrew Peacock, 16 snaps (27 percent); Kris Durham, 15 snaps (25 percent); Ryan Broyles, 15 snaps (25 percent); Kevin Ogletree, 13 snaps (22 percent); Conner Vernon, 8 snaps (14 percent).
Analysis: One of the tightest competitions for roster spots received no more clarity after Friday night. Ross’ snaps probably indicate the team is still trying to get a true feel for how much he can be a receiving threat along with being the Lions’ primary returner. Ogletree’s snaps came with the first unit, as did Durham’s. Based off the past two weeks, the Lions have likely seen enough from Broyles to feel good about him as well.
Analysis: Fauria saw so many snaps because he continues to play both tight end slots and it’s a good way for him to continue to polish his blocking. Plus, the Lions just don’t have a lot of tight ends. Ebron didn’t see a ton of action and caught both passes thrown at him.
Corey Hilliard, 23 snaps (39 percent); LaAdrian Waddle, 20 snaps (34 percent); Riley Reiff, 20 snaps (34 percent); Michael Williams, 20 snaps (34 percent); Cornelius Lucas, 19 snaps (32 percent); Bryce Quigley, 16 snaps (27 percent).
Analysis: One of the bigger surprises was Williams receiving a bunch of second-team snaps at tackle over Lucas. Williams is still transitioning from tight end to tackle -- he’s still listed as a tight end in the official snap counts -- and the Lions clearly wanted to get an idea of his progress against Oakland. There appear to be two battles here: Hilliard and Waddle at right tackle along with Williams and Lucas for the team’s fourth tackle.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE:
Travis Swanson, 42 snaps (71 percent); Rodney Austin, 28 snaps (47 percent); Garrett Reynolds, 24 snaps (41 percent); Darren Keyton, 23 snaps (39 percent); Larry Warford, 20 snaps (34 percent); Rob Sims, 17 snaps (29 percent); Dominic Raiola, 17 snaps (29 percent); Alex Bullard, 3 snaps (5 percent); A.J. Dalton, 3 snaps (5 percent).
Analysis: Detroit continued to give Swanson as much work as possible, both at guard and center, so he has some experience in case of injury to Raiola, Sims or Warford. The Lions will likely keep one of Austin, Reynolds and Keyton along with Swanson, who won’t be cut, to be interior linemen. Keyton has practice squad eligibility, as do Bullard and Dalton.