Lions Camp News & Notes: 8/8

Training Camp Flash: Harrington and Garcia battle update (among other competitive bouts), notes on each Lions' rookie, player of the week, team personnel briefing and more.

Some observations from training camp ...

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Joey Harrington vs. Jeff Garcia for the No. 1 quarterback job. The position isn't really up for grabs; coach Steve Mariucci said Harrington would be the Lions' starter unless something unexpected happens. But Lions fans and the media are focused on the play of the two QBs and -- after the first 10 days of training camp -- neither has been brilliant.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: It remains to be seen exactly how the defensive secondary will line up for Green Bay in the season opener, but there is plenty of competition for the backup jobs. Keith Smith, Stanley Wilson, Chris Cash, Andre Goodman and Vernon Fox are all competing mightily for playing time and attention from coaches. RB Artose Pinner, the Lions' fourth-round pick in 2003, is the same size as last season at 5-10, 232 pounds, but he looks sleeker and is making a bid to get playing time behind starter Kevin Jones. RB Shawn Bryson, a veteran who can handle the blitz pickup, got most of the work in that position last year.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cornerback Fernando Bryant, who missed six games entirely and was subpar in several other games because of an ankle injury, is showing the Lions the kind of play they were expecting when they signed him as an unrestricted free agent a year ago. With the addition of CB R.W. McQuarters during the spring, there is heavy competition for all of the defensive back jobs.

ROOKIE REPORT: First-round pick WR Mike Williams is showing no ill effects from his brief holdout. He is working primarily as the backup to split end Charles Rogers, but is also lining up in the slot... Second-round pick DT Shaun Cody got off to an impressive start and is playing well but has leveled off after the first week of training camp... Third-round pick CB Stanley Wilson has shown good speed, but is unlikely to unseat any of the top four CBs currently lining up ahead of him... Fifth-round pick QB Dan Orlovsky is getting limited work, but all of the popularity that generally goes to the Lions' No. 3 quarterbacks... Sixth-round pick DE Bill Swancutt is showing encouraging signs as a pass rusher, showing the ability to evade the bigger offensive tackles and run over the smaller tight ends... Sixth-round pick OLB Johnathan Goddard is showing the speed and athletic ability the Lions expected but hasn't yet shown he can get around the huge offensive tackles as a pass rusher.

INJURY REPORT: RB Jamel White is limited by a hamstring injury. ... DE James Hall suffered a pulled groin and missed several days of practice at the end of last week. Neither injury is considered especially serious.


Barring a serious injury or the availability of a particularly appealing player, it appears unlikely that Lions president Matt Millen will actively seek to add to the Lions' roster before the start of the regular season.

Drummond's presence fills concern of any remaining holdouts.
With the end of kick returner Eddie Drummond's holdout last week, the Lions have their full complement of starters, veterans and rookies in camp and -- for the first time in several years -- have no glaring holes in the roster.

In some areas, incidentally, they are so deep in qualified candidates that coach Steve Mariucci is looking for ways to use players. At linebacker, for instance, he has four veterans who have been fulltime starters for a season or longer and they are competing for three starting jobs.

--KR/PR Eddie Drummond was impressive in his return after a week-long holdout. Although he gets minimal playing time at WR, his fresh legs made him stand out in receiving drills.

--OT Kelly Butler, who got no playing time as a rookie last season, continued to play at a high level at RT. Former Lions Pro Bowl tackle Lomas Brown, a scouting intern in camp, has worked with him and talked to him about the tricks of the trade.

--OLB Alex Lewis is working as the backup to WLB James (Dirty) Davis, but has been working with Boss Bailey as the first-unit nickel backs. Lewis' speed makes him a valuable piece of the linebacking corps.

--MLB Earl Holmes, who is starting his 10th NFL season, is still the starting MLB, although the younger, faster Teddy Lehman is available. The Lions like Holmes' experience and toughness as a run-stopper.

--TE Jason Randall, an undrafted rookie from Michigan State, has gotten some attention with his size (6-5, 275) and his blocking ability.

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