ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Some thoughts and observations from our second day of training camp with the Detroit Lions:
It's only fair to note that after a relatively sloppy practice Wednesday, the Lions came back with a sharp and fast-paced workout held indoors because of rain. The team opened with work on its no-huddle offense, and it set the pace for a crisp day. I like how the Lions' coaching staff sets the pace for high tempo by personally sprinting from one drill to the next. It's tough for players not to follow.
We noted earlier that rookie cornerback Bill Bentley has been elevated to the first team, at least for the time being. The Lions also had veteran safety John Wendling working with the starters, alongside Erik Coleman, while one-time starter Amari Spievey was working with the second and third teams. Coach Jim Schwartz said Wendling has "had a very good camp." He added: "He's knocked down a lot of passes. He's been in the right spot all the time." Look for Bentley and Wendling to start Friday night against the Cleveland Browns.
The practice had some tense moments during one of the final team drills when hot-headed center Dominic Raiola fell, got up and whacked rookie linebacker Tahir Whitehead on the helmet. The two jawed for several more plays but Whitehead did not retaliate, which Schwartz considered a good sign for a team that lost its composure often last season. "The players showed some restraint," Schwartz said. "That's a good step, particularly for a rookie."
Because the practice was held indoors, reporters saw running back Mikel Leshoure running for one of the few times since he strained his hamstring early in camp. (Most of his rehabilitation has been conducted indoors while the team practiced outside.) Leshoure ran hard, with his helmet on, during a sideline session with the team's medical staff. It wouldn't be surprising if he returned to practice sometime next week.
Backup quarterback Shaun Hill had a little fun during second-team work, twice taking option-like runs deep down the left sideline and encouraging defensive players to chase him. I timed his 40-yard dash in approximately 5.01 seconds.