It's a safe bet that tackling technique will be a point of emphasis as Detroit prepares to face Oakland in its third preseason game on August 25.
Poor second-half tackling by Detroit's reserves doomed the Lions in their opening week loss to the Browns, and the unit's effort wasn't much improved in Baltimore on Friday night. “We have to find guys who can tackle,” a frustrated Jim Schwartz told the Lions Radio Network after his team's 27-12 win over the Ravens. “You can work on [tackling] all you want ... but you have to make plays.”
Broyles makes two grabs in limited debut: WR Ryan Broyles finished with two catches for 26 yards Friday in his first game since tearing his ACL during his senior season at Oklahoma. Broyles was able to create space on both plays, despite not playing at full strength. Returning to game action was a key step in Broyles' rehab progress. What remains to be seen is whether he's still dealing with the post-workout swelling that has kept him on an every-other-day practice regimen for the last week.
Young provides lone kick-coverage bright spot: DE Willie Young continued his solid run of special teams play Friday when he blocked a punt early in the fourth quarter. The play was the only true bright spot for Detroit's kick-coverage teams. The Lions' coverage units were dominated on a pair of returns for touchdowns that were negated by Ravens' penalties. When the regular season begins, they're going to have troubles if they allow opponents the massive lanes they allowed to Ravens returners.
Reiff gets extended reps again: T Riley Reiff took extended reps at RT for a second-consecutive week. He played mostly with the second team, but he did take a few first-team reps when Gosder Cherilus needed a rest. Reiff's learning curve in Detroit's system is clearly shrinking. If he continues to deliver the quality pass protection he's provided in Detroit's first two preseason games, he will easily establish himself as Detroit's primary reserve O-lineman.
Ageless wonder Hanson does it again: Fifty-yard field goals seem like they're second-nature to veteran Jason Hanson, and the 42-year-old kicker's ability to convert a 50-yard attempt Friday proved he can handle the job again this season. Rookie K Derek Dimke has pushed Hanson during camp, but Hanson still has plenty of leg, and there doesn't appear to be any reason to unseat one of the game's all-time greats.
Jonte Green slipping down the depth chart: Jonte Green was on the field at M&T Bank Stadium for the final play of Friday's game. While that would be considered a positive during the regular season, it's not a good sign during training camp. Lions coaches had hoped that Green's coverage ability would improve as camp progressed, but he continues to allow receivers open gaps during drills. His stock is clearly falling as he languishes on the third team, and he'll need a string of solid workouts to regain his place further up the CB rotation.