Training Camp Notebook

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Justin Vanfulpen -

WR Herman Moore is showing a lot of his old ways in the passing game, and he is finally completely healed from all his injuries in the past. The new offense that Marty Mornhinweg has implemented will help Moore be even more productive this season since he will be used all over the field, and the Lions' wide receivers will be running many different routes this season. Compared to Moore's few routes in former head coach Bobby Ross's system, the veteran receiver looks like a happy camper -- which he hasn’t looked like in the past few seasons.

Moore has had some great practices the past few days, and has made some amazing one hand catches-- including jumping and diving for the ball.

One surprise this training camp so far has been the play of OLB Barrett Green. Green has been excellent in pass coverage using his speed to knock down balls. In Sunday afternoon practice, he intercepted a pass from QB Cory Sauter, by just reading the quarterback and breaking on the ball. Look for Green to play a lot in the nickel and dime packages in pre-season, so the Lions can see what they have in him.

OT Jeff Backus still looks like a rookie. While Backus does show that he will be a good one with time, in the last two practices he has gotten beat routinely, and beaten badly with speed moves around the corner by fellow Michigan alum James Hall in one-on-one drills. Again, Backus got beat with a speed move when he was going against Tracy Scroggins in a full 11-on-11 team scrimmage.

WR Desmond Howard has looked better then ever at the wide receiver position. Marty Mornhinweg is looking to make sure that he gets him into the game plan each week with some special plays so that he can use his open field running skills.

TE Pete Mitchell has look great with the first team offense since David Sloan has went down with his broken hand. Mitchell has made some amazing catches, diving for the ball, jumping up in the air and catching the ball and also his ability to run after the catch has been impressive.

A guy who has been standing out is free-safety, number 38, Eugene Clinton -- a free-agent rookie from Mississippi State. In the past two practices, he has had two interceptions as well as two balls he has knocked down. The problem he has is he lacks great size, but if he is productive in pre-season, watch out, he is a guy I look for that will have a shot at making the practice squad.

Another guy that keeps making a good impression is running back Sedrick Irvin. Irvin looks great in camp both running and catching the ball, but he looks as if he has gained more speed in the off-season. He always has had good moves and could catch the ball, but the knock on him was his lack of straight line speed. He looks as if he has almost locked up a back-up running back spot, the battle for the third and finally running back spot will be between three guys, Lamont Warren, Amp Lee and Reuben Droughns. Droughns is the better pure runner and Lee is the better pure pass catcher out of the backfield. Warren does both well but he not as good of a runner as Droughns or isn’t as good at catching the ball out of the backfield as Lee. But what gives him the advantage is that he does both well but not as good as the other two do on their strengths. So this battle will mostly likely continue until the Lions have to cut down to the 53 man roster.

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