Defense, Cash, Look Sharp As Camp Opens

The Lions defensive unit came out fired up, aggressive and sharp in yesterday's practice session in Allen Park. Lions' insider Mike Fowler details and provides insight on the first day of the Lions' second mini-camp.

ALLEN PARK - The Lions defensive unit came out fired up, aggressive and sharp in yesterday's practice session in Allen Park.

In what is primarily a passing camp, the Lions pass defense showed that they can use their speed effectively as they contained the short routes, jumped some others and came up with three interceptions.

"I got some reps at nickle today and made a couple plays at nickle," said cornerback Chris Cash, who made several plays during the session."

"I made a play on the ball as a left corner."

Cash attributed his ability to jump routes and break on the ball to being healthy again after struggling last season through the effects of a lingering knee injury.

"I'm finally getting my knee and my legs up under me," said Cash, and I"m starting to get back to where I was when I was a rookie."

Cash explained that after suffering the knee injury, he held off on having surgery immediately. "Yeah, I waited about a month and a half, then I got the surgery. Last year was kind of a down year for me, but once I get my legs back, I'll be fine, I'll be ready to go."

Second year corner Keith Smith also got in on the act, making a play on a Joey Harrington pass. Defensive end/tackle Cory Redding also showed good penetration on the defensive line. Terrence Holt jumped a quick slant route breaking up a play.

Linebacker Alex Lewis and James Davis showed speed and quickness reacting to short passes in their respective zones.

Lions linebacker Boss Bailey said he isn't surprised because the team has talent and depth at nearly every defensive position. "We've got the depth, we've got good starters out here and backups and everybody's competing for that starting job."

Harrington attributed the offense's slow start as the result of getting their first shot at actually running plays that have been installed over the last few weeks.

"We been installing some things the last couple of weeks and during the minicamp," said Harrington. Now is the first chance to really get out there and do it against some live competition and we showed our youth and inexperience today. But that's OK, the defense is always a few steps ahead of the offense when the year starts, that's the name of the game. We need to have these kinds of experiences to know what we need to correct, what we need to polish."

Harrington indicated he wants the offense to step it up a little bit. "I didn't like the results of everything out there today, but I liked how everyone kept working at it."

They'll get another shot at it Wednesday morning as the mini camp continues through Friday.

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