NFC North: Cory Greenwood

Lions Camp Report: Day 10

August, 7, 2014
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Detroit Lions training camp:
  • With receiver Calvin Johnson and tight end Eric Ebron -- two of Detroit's biggest offensive pieces both physically and in terms of usage -- not practicing Thursday, there were more opportunities for others to try and stand out during practice. Joseph Fauria, who has been used with the first team often during the first two weeks of camp, saw a significant uptick in reps and appeared to fare fairly well. Fauria is going to make the team, but he needs to prove in this camp he has taken a step from last season, where he was primarily used in the red zone. If Ebron doesn't play Saturday, he'll have a large opportunity to do so before likely giving way to Jordan Thompson and Andrew Maxwell later in the game. Johnson, meanwhile, had an excused absence. With Johnson not at practice, Kris Durham appeared to receive more first-team reps than normal.
  • Speaking of Maxwell, the essentially unknown tight end had the play of practice in a rep with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford fired the ball to Maxwell and it hit off of him. Then, it bounced off of safety Glover Quin and somehow right back into the hands of Maxwell, who made the catch and kept on running. It looked like one of those plays you'd see on an NFL Films highlight reel for years if it happened in a game instead of a preseason practice.
  • DeJon Gomes is making a strong push to win the fourth safety spot behind starters Glover Quin and James Ihedigbo and third safety/special teams leader Don Carey. Gomes has consistently backed up Ihedigbo, including when the starter briefly left practice after being kicked in the leg. Gomes has also shown up a lot on the first-team special teams units, which is critical for any depth player trying to make a roster.
  • As part of the veterans-getting-rest plan mentioned multiple times earlier in the week, rookie offensive lineman Travis Swanson has received a lot of time with the first-team offense, either at left guard spelling Rob Sims or at center, replacing Dominic Raiola. While there is no indication Sims or Raiola have anything to worry about when it comes to their jobs, this sort of experience can only provide value to Swanson both this season and down the road, when he eventually becomes a starter. Don't be surprised to see a lot of him Saturday night, perhaps in multiple positions.
  • The Ford family made another appearance at practice Thursday afternoon. While this is my first training camp covering the Lions, veteran reporter Dave Birkett noted the family has been out at camp more often than in the past few seasons. Of course, the team sort of changed ownership in the offseason after the death of William Clay Ford Sr. His wife, Martha, now is the owner of the team and she was at practice.
  • Darren Keyton missed another practice Thursday, as did Ezekiel Ansah, who continued doing side work. Also missing practice -- and not being in attendance at all -- was linebacker Cory Greenwood. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday night that Greenwood has an excused absence. Both Ansah and receiver TJ Jones remain on the active PUP list.
  • The Lions have their final practice before the preseason opener at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Allen Park. It is not open to the public.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

If you wanted to make a documentary on how to destroy a career in less than 12 months, former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young has provided all of the elements. As first reported Tuesday evening by Paula Pasche of the Oakland Press, Young was arrested twice in a span of 15 hours last weekend in southern California.

The first was for suspicion of driving under the influence and the second was for burglary because Young had jumped the fence of an impound lot and was attempting to retrieve his car.

I'm not sure the Lions' decision to draft Young in 2011 looks any different this morning than it did last week. They've already released him, eating the $1.8 million signing bonus they paid him as well as the value of the second-round draft choice they used to acquire him. It was already a disastrous decision. This most recent turn of events reinforces the dangerous and sad life spiral Young is still in.

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Here's what Young's former high school coach, E.C. Robinson, said about the incidents via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Based on the last time I did see him, I knew unless he got some help there was going to be some issues, and I told him that, too. And I thought maybe since I hadn't heard anything from him he was in some institute getting some help. That's what I just figured. But I know the last time I saw him, I was just shocked the stage he was in at that time."
  • The Lions claimed two players on waivers, as Chris McCosky notes for the Detroit News: Linebacker Cory Greenwood and guard Derek Hardman.
  • The Lions will host free-agent offensive lineman Winston Justice on a visit, according to Jason La Canfora of
  • Mending the Green Bay Packers' defense starts with defensive end Datone Jones and linebacker Nick Perry, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will appear on "The Office" on Thursday night, according to the Associated Press. He will play a judge for a singing competition.
  • Former Minnesota Vikings running back Ted Brown has been selected for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame, notes the AP.
  • Here is a podcast of former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe speaking on ESPN Radio about his release.
  • Jeff Dickerson of runs through the recent changes in the Chicago Bears' front office.
  • Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune addresses the Bears' front-office turnover. Pompei: "We have to look at each situation individually to understand what happened."