Rogers slide continues, Williams stock rising

No one could have foreseen the attention two of Detroit's wideouts -- Mike Williams and Charles Rogers -- would be getting during the first two weeks of work at the Lions' Allen Park training facility.

It was understood from the minute Rod Marinelli arrived as the Lions coach last January that the wide receivers would be one of the primary focal points of the team's training camp.

But no one could have foreseen the attention two of the wideouts -- Mike Williams and Charles Rogers -- would be getting during the first two weeks of work at the Lions' Allen Park training facility.

Rogers, the second player taken in the 2003 draft, was praised by Marinelli and quarterback Jon Kitna alike during the early days of camp but seems to have faded in the days since.

Williams, the 10th player taken in the 2005 draft, seemed to be on shaky ground when the workouts began but has made impressive strides in the workouts that have followed.

And Marinelli is offering no explanation to reporters following and focusing on every play the receivers run on the practice field aside from a somewhat vague: "Don't read more into it than there is. We're just getting the guys work, trying to work each guy, each person."

Yet, the change in Williams' and Rogers' assignments, the opportunities they're getting and the results that are surfacing seem to indicate Williams is ascending in the depth chart and Rogers is on the decline.

The one thing that Marinelli has made clear is that things happen on the practice field for a reason.

"It's all about competing," he said. "Earn your spots, earn your reps. Every day, earn it. If you like those reps, keep working, you may get them some more."

Williams had an outstanding day of work on one of the hottest days of training camp last week. With the coaching staff apparently testing his toughness and his willingness to work, he ran play after play after play in the sweltering heat and humidity. At one point, he even stopped to pull off his helmet, jersey and shirt to cool down briefly; moments later, he was back running plays.

Rogers has not been put to that kind of test but seemingly had done all that had been asked of him before he suddenly started getting fewer reps on the practice field.

Asked how he felt he had played in camp, Rogers said: "I think it's been decent. I don't think it's been a D grade or a C grade."

Roy Williams and Corey Bradford have been and remain the first offense receivers. Kick returner Eddie Drummond seemingly has made strides in earning more time on the field as a receiver also.

CAMP CALENDAR: Aug. 11 -- exhibition opener against Denver; Aug. 17 -- Break camp; Aug. 24 -- Kickoff luncheon, hosted by Economic Club of Detroit.


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