ALLEN PARK — All’s fair game when the Lions are in pads in training camp.
Well, maybe not all but close to it.
One of the highlights of Friday morning’s camp was a big hit by rookie middle linebacker Jarrad Davis on veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones during seven-on-seven drills.
Matthew Stafford found Jones in a crowd, Jones caught the ball and then Davis slammed the wide receiver, the ball popped up and Jones caught it again. Davis blew him up again.
All is good though.
It’s exactly what the coaches want to see from the linebacking group.
Jones did not have an issue with being on the receiving end.
Afterward when Davis was in an interview scrum, Jones came up from behind him and playfully grabbed him around the waist as if he would tackle him to the turf.
The gesture from the veteran was a good thing.
“I really appreciate those guys,’’ Davis said. “When I got back there I let him know it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.’’
Sounds like a warning shot.
“(After) a little hit in the back on seven-on-seven that was chip from me, a nice little present. It’s all good, we’re in full pads, it’s football. You’re going to get something like that. I’m glad he’s on our squad,’’ Jones said.
Davis, who was drafted in the first round to start at middle linebacker, had another solid day. The hit on Jones was just the exclamation point.
“It’s part of the game physicality, football is a physical game if they don’t like it they don’t like it, if they like it they like it. It’s going to go either way,’’ Davis said. “I’m practicing my craft, working on me. I’m going to make sure I take care of my teammates at the end of the day, but you have moments like that to make the team better.’’
Coach Jim Caldwell had no problem with the play. It wasn’t vicious, it’s what the coaches need to see now and then during camp days when they are in full pads.
“Every practice is different, this practice was a padded practice so we went after it pretty good and there’s some practices we don’t. It was within the rules,’’ Caldwell said. “The physical nature of the game is what it is, you’ve got to be able to tackle and run. You’re going to have a collision here and there.’’
Caldwell is cautious about dropping too many kind words early in camp especially for rookies.
Still no one can deny Davis has proven his first-round value so far.
“Yeah, I think (physicality) is kind of a normal trait of most linebackers and anybody on defense period. Those are guys that are going to be very, very active in that regard,’’ Caldwell said. “He’s performing well. Like I said, nothing’s perfect. He’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but he certainly works at it and he’s doing a nice job just in terms of the overall progression.”
And aggression, we might add.