Watch: The Detroit Lions Podcast wraps minicamp and OTAs

The Detroit Lions Podcast wraps up and breaks down the Lions minicamp and OTAs

The Detroit Lions Podcast featuring Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon is back with the latest episode. This one sees Jeff and Chris wrap up the Lions’ minicamp and OTA sessions.

Special emphasis is placed on the coaching interviews and how Dan Campbell and his staff are handling their second offseason in charge in Detroit. The change from year-to-year and from prior regimes is stark and we break it down for you.

Who looked good in minicamp? Where are the roster battles brewing? Which players unexpectedly captured attention in practices? We cover all that and more in over 90 minutes of straight Lions talk.

You can stream the audio version of the show here, and it’s also available for download at all your favorite podcast providers.

Frank Ragnow thrilled to have the Lions starting offensive line back together in practice

The starting five got some reps together in practice on Thursday

It didn’t last for long and it wasn’t in full pads, but there was a glorious sight at Detroit Lions minicamp on Thursday afternoon. The entire projected starting offensive line did reps together in the team drill portion of the practice.

It was the first time the line of five starters had appeared together since last preseason when left tackle Taylor Decker suffered a hand injury. By the time Decker returned to the lineup in November, center Frank Ragnow was lost for the year with a toe injury.

But there they were on a sunny Thursday afternoon, aligned together when the first-team offense took the field late in practice. From left to right: Decker, Jonah Jackson, Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Penei Sewell.

After practice, the Pro Bowl center talked about how important the chemistry and familiarity will be for the Lions line.

“It’s really beneficial for us, even just to spend time together because the chemistry with the o-line is huge,” Ragnow told reporters. “Even if the tempo is different, it’s just huge for us to understand how we all think and how we all flow.”

It’s important because the Lions are asking a lot from the line under new coordinator Ben Johnson. Ragnow explained,

“There’s a lot of unique looks, especially on third down, where some things have to happen without you even saying anything. The more reps and the more time you spend together, you understand how I might handle that look and how we may pass off that — or what I might be thinking to make the call, so they understand.”

Again, the reps were not in pads, so it’s important to not read too much into the actual action. But Ragnow looked unencumbered by the foot throughout the week. He acknowledged that “last year was very frustrating” but “I don’t even think about it” anymore, and it shows in his movement.

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LOOK: Top photos from Detroit Lions minicamp

Here are some of the best photos captured from the practice fields by the professional photographers inside the Lions’ minicamp

The Detroit Lions put in some hard work in this week’s mandatory minicamp. Three days of practices welcomed all the veterans back to the team facility in Allen Park after some weeks of voluntary OTAs.

Here are some of the best photos captured from the practice fields by the professional photographers inside the Lions’ minicamp.

Lions minicamp notebook, Day 3: News and notes from the final practice session

Notes from Thursday’s Detroit Lions minicamp session on Jared Goff, UDFAs, punt return fun, an unexpected safety standout and more

Minicamp wrapped on Thursday after three days of practice sessions at the Detroit Lions team facility in suburban Allen Park.

The mood and action was more laid back in a last-day-of-school kind of vibe, to steal a take from Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit. It even ended with a sort of “field day” fun competition between the offense and defense.

Here’s what I saw and heard in Thursday’s session.

Lions minicamp notebook, Day 2: Probing the depths of the roster

Lions minicamp notebook: First impressions from opening day

Dan Campbell likes the ‘chess match’ between his coordinators at Lions practices

Head coach Dan Campbell likes the ‘chess match’ between coordinators Ben Johnson and Aaron Glenn at Lions practices

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It’s the second year in Detroit for head coach Dan Campbell and his Lions staff. The relative continuity with the coaches is something that Campbell appreciates.

While the offensive coordinator has changed from Anthony Lynn to Ben Johnson, the transition happened during last season. Johnson has worked with Campbell and the offense enough that it’s a nice familiarity and trust. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn earned that same trust and respect in his first season in Detroit, too.

Coach Campbell talked about it prior to Wednesday’s practice session, the second day of minicamp.

“I feel good with where we’re at for what we’re doing because I do feel like we are a step ahead of where we were this time last year, and I just feel like some of the situations that we’re in now,” Campbell said. “Look, I told Ben Johnson and (Glenn) AG this — as a head coach, what is very satisfying for me right now that I’m feeling that I didn’t necessarily feel this time last year, was that we were testing each other.”

Campbell continued,

“You want to feel like your coordinators are playing a chess game amongst each other, and you’re trying to be one step ahead of each other because now, it creates problems and then you learn to solve problems and then you go to the next thing. I think that’s how you get really better schematically and then just developing your talent. What can we do inside the system? Where can we take advantage of a weakness on either side? And I feel like we’re doing that right now so that gives me—that’s what makes me feel pretty good right now. I can feel our coordinators playing the chess game. We are, there are problems being solved and created on both sides.”

The chess moves were evident in practices this week. Johnson had the offense scurry to the line and quick-snap the ball to catch Glenn’s defense still efforting to diagnose and adjust a few times. The defense has countered with exotic blitz looks and moving pieces all around the formation before the snap, creating odd reads for the offense.

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Jaguars announce where they will hold training camp as construction begins on new facility

Due to the construction going on at TIAA Bank Field, the Jags will be holding training camp at a different location but it won’t be that far from their current practice fields.

With construction for a new football facility ongoing at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ current practice fields, the team will be conducting their training camp at a new location this offseason. According to Jags president Mark Lamping, that location will be just two miles away from their current practice fields at TIAA Bank Field at Episcopal High School.

Lamping said the team would be investing money into improving some of the high school’s fields and added that organized team activities, rookie minicamp, and other events would be held at their indoor facility or inside of TIAA Bank Field.

”We’ve been working on these plans for about a year,” Lamping said. ”When we get to training camp, we are going to be working on two grass fields at Episcopal. We’re investing some money to improve a couple of fields over there.  It’s a short bus ride but that’s just for training camp. But you know all the OTAs, rookie minicamp and once we start the preseason games, the practices will be held on the game field and in the indoor facility. So we’ll do that for this season.”

Jacksonville’s Building Inspection Division approved the permits for the foundation in February. Jacksonville’s Haskell Company will construct it, which will be 127,087 square feet.

The construction of the facility is part of the process to have TIAA Bank Field renovated. With the team operating out of the stadium, a new facility will allow them to move out whenever a deal is complete. Additionally, the team simply needed more space for operations and the new football facility is expected to help with that as it will feature locker rooms, a weight room, training and medical areas, and more.

The Jags’ offseason workout program will begin on April 11. The whole process will be broken down into three phases, and the information on the program can be found here

Jags 2022 offseason workout program dates revealed

The Jags will start their offseason program on April 11 and here is everything fans need to know about the process.

Doug Pederson has been a busy man since being named the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach on Feb. 3, but later this month, he will finally be able to take the field with his new team. The NFL announced the key offseason dates for all 32 of its teams on Friday, and the Jags’ first day will be in 9 days (April 11).

The Jags’ voluntary minicamp will take place 15 days later on April 26 and will last until April 28. After that, the team will get a break until May 23, which is when organized team activity workouts start. They will have another session the following day, then on May 26, May 31-June 1, June 3, and June 6-9.

The last phase of the workout process will conclude mandatory minicamp on June 13-15.

As always, the offseason workout program will be broken down into three phases. Phase 1 will take place during the first two weeks of the program. According to the memo sent by the NFL, teams will be limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only” during this phase.

Phase 2 will take place for the next three weeks of the program. During this phase, on-field workouts can include drills where offensive players line up across from offensive players while the defense can do the same with other defensive players at a conducted walkthrough pace. The memo also notes that “individual or group instruction and drills, as well as ‘perfect play drills'” are allowed, too.

Lastly, in Phase 3, which will involve the next four weeks of the program, teams can conduct 10 days of organized team practice activity. While live contact still won’t be permitted, 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills will be.

Teams with new head coaches like the Jags can have an additional voluntary veteran minicamp. According to the NFL’s memo, additional voluntary veteran minicamps must be held before the NFL Draft (April 28-30), “but no earlier than Week 3 of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21.”

Each NFL organization can hold a rookie minicamp after the draft, too. They can begin on May 16, but the Jags will confirm their dates later if they elect to have one.

Podcast: Takeaways from Jags minicamp, explaining why team is a perfect fit for ‘Hard Knocks’

Jags Wire’s James Johnson discussed his offensive, defensive, and other takeaways from Monday and Tuesday as the Jags wrapped up minicamp.

In this week’s episode of “Bleav in the Jags,” Jags Wire’s James Johnson discussed some key takeaways from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ mandatory minicamp practices. Most of them came on the offensive side, however, there were some important things discussed on defense and special teams, both of which are units with solid competition.

Afterward, James discussed why the Jags make so much sense for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” and why fans and the team should at least consider it. With a decision needing to be made on the team (or teams) who could be featured on the annual show, this is an episode fans might not want to miss as the Jags could have a solid chance to get the nod.

The episode can be heard below in the media player, while archived episodes can be revisited here.

Feel free to subscribe to “Bleav in the Jags” via Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Jags add WR Laquon Treadwell to 90-man roster after minicamp tryout

The Jags are adding a former first-round pick to their receivers corps in Laquon Treadwell, who was a tryout player for them in minicamp.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed receiver, and former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell to their 90-man roster after he was one of four players to try out at minicamp. To make room for his addition, the Jags waived Jon’Vea Johnson.

Treadwell, 26, was the No. 23 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Vikings after they drafted him and spent 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons. While with the Vikes, he accumulated 65 catches for 701 yards, and two touchdowns and was only able to add six more catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns to his total last season.

With his signing, Treadwell is set to join the Jags during training camp in late July. He was a player who Urban Meyer spoke positively about this week when asked what he thought of Treadwell, who was the most notable name of their four tryout players.

“Yeah, I first saw his name and I remembered him very well from high school, obviously and he had a great career at Ole Miss,” Meyer said. “[He was] a first-round draft pick and I spent some time with him today. But I think we brought an offensive lineman, two defensive players and Treadwell.

“So, I thought he looked pretty good, big body that can run and big hands. So, I was surprised that his name—when I saw his name and Trent brought him to me, I just remembered him very well and he didn’t disappoint today.”

The veteran will join a receivers group that is loaded and currently has DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, and Laviska Shenault among notables.

Brian Schottenheimer tight-lipped on Jags’ starting quarterback situation

Though Trevor Lawrence is expected to win the job, the Jags’ passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach said no decision has been made.

Ever since Jacksonville secured the first-overall pick back in December, it was assumed that Trevor Lawrence would be the starting quarterback this fall. Though the rookie is well on his way after some impressive moments at minicamp despite recovering from shoulder surgery, it appears he hasn’t done enough to lock up the job, at least at this point.

According to ESPN’s Mike DiRocco, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer wouldn’t give a definitive answer when asked if there’s been a decision made.

“It’s still too early to say how this thing’s going to play out,” Schottenheimer said on Wednesday.

While there’s certainly some smoke and mirrors going on here, it’s far from a foregone conclusion that Lawrence will be ready to start Week 1. It’s not like the Jaguars necessarily need him to be, either.

He’s clearly the future, but the Jags still have a quarterback on the roster who’s thrown for 37 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in two years in Gardner Minshew II. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Minshew wants to win the starting job in camp this fall. He’s a clear trade option for Jacksonville, but if no deal materializes and Lawrence isn’t ready for the opener against Houston, the cupboard is nowhere near bare.

Still, it would be at least a minor upset if Lawrence doesn’t start Week 1. Though he’s dealing with lingering issues from the surgery, it seems he’s getting closer and closer to 100% each day. He should be fully healthy by the fall, and it would likely take a herculean effort from Minshew to unseat him as the presumed starter, assuming he’s still on the roster at that point.