ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- I made it about two-thirds of the way through the Detroit Lions' full-pads practice Tuesday before my cell phone went into constant ring mode. Luckily, I had already compiled a base list of observations from what was a physical outing punctuated by a brief rain shower. Some highlights:
The Lions had a "live" session of 9-on-7 work, meaning players were allowed to be tackled to the ground. It was one of two "live" segments scheduled for the entire summer. Tailback Kevin Smith (knee) didn't participate in this drill, which featured runs by Maurice Morris and Jahvid Best. Each were stuffed at the line of scrimmage on their first run, while Morris broke through on the third and final first-team play of the drill.
Here was the most interesting and amazing thing I saw Tuesday: Twice, veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch sprinted 25 yards downfield to chase a ball carrier during 9-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills. In one case, he stunned Morris by trying to poke the ball loose. Vanden Bosch, a 10-year-veteran, didn't do it for fun. I considered it the most visible sign yet of setting an example for how a young team should practice. I'm guessing few Lions defensive linemen have chased ball carriers that far downfield during training camp practices.
As I'm sure you know, 9-on-7 drills are designed for running plays. (They don't include receivers or cornerbacks.) Passing drills take place in 7-on-7 periods. In that latter segment, I did my best to track each throw from quarterback Matthew Stafford. By my count, Stafford threw four passes to tight ends, three to running backs and two to receivers. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who was in fact in pads Tuesday, caught both passes thrown his way.
The first-team secondary has been the same throughout the three practices I've covered: Houston and Jonathan Wade at cornerback, with Marvin White and C.C. Brown at safeties. I'm guessing Louis Delmas will replace White when he is activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Meanwhile, I thought rookie cornerback Amari Spievey did well with contact Tuesday. He is built to be a big, Cover 2 cornerback.
You've probably seen this on our news stack by now, but Lions center Dominic Raiola turned up the heat a bit on unsigned defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who missed his fourth consecutive day of practice Tuesday over a contract dispute. Said Raiola: "I haven't even sent him a text or anything, but I'd like to tell him, 'Just sign the damn contract already. You are missing some good things here.'" Lions president Tom Lewand said that talks are continuing.
Some of you have asked if I'll be cutting short my trip to Detroit or rescheduling my next stop in Green Bay. The answer, at least for now, is no chance. You can assume a steady stream of Brett Favre-related items, but they'll be mixed in with posts from my current locale. There's no need to hijack the blog at this point.