Detroit Lions camp: Ex-Giant Devon Kennard faces former team

Lions linebacker played 4 seasons with Giants

ALLEN PARK >> Devon Kennard had a different outlook on Tuesday when the Detroit Lions held their first joint practice with the New York Giants.

The Lions linebacker played in 52 games over the last four seasons for the Giants, before signing with the Lions as a free agent.

He’s been impressive in training camp so far. That continued on Tuesday against his former teammates.

“It’s been fun, there’s always a competitive nature and that’s what it was today. Going against guys I’m pretty familiar with, but we’re out here working, trying to beat each other and that’s how it should be,’’ Kennard said.

The Lions will play the Giants in the home preseason opener at 7 p.m. on Friday at Ford Field. Prior to that they will practice against the Giants at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. on Thursday. Both are open to fans. Last week Detroit held joint practices against the Oakland Raiders before the preseason opener for each team.

Five thoughts from Kennard:

— He likes the joint practices in back-to-back weeks. “It’s something you can continue to build, there’s nothing like live game action, the intensity of the game and stuff. To be able to have that experience and roll it into another joint practice was good for me personally and good for the team overall,’’ Kennard said.

— Facing the Raiders and Giants offenses in practice should also help the Lions’ defense. “I think it’s pivotal. You get different formations, every team does things a little differently,’’ Kennard said. “As a defensive guy you get to see how you’re going to adjust to different things the offense does. I think it’s good preparation for the season.’’

— The Lions lost 16-10 to the Raiders on Friday with the defensive pass rush and ability to stop the run standing out as areas that need to improve. “I think we did some things well, we have high expectations and we want to play at a higher level and we want to continue to get better,’’ Kennard said.

— Coach Matt Patricia’s impact on the defense has been immediate. “He demands a lot from us, he demands excellence. He’s never satisfied,’’ Kennard said. “If we think we have a good day he’s always pushing us, showing us ways we need and should get better. I think it’s making everybody’s awareness and everybody’s intensity raise every day.’’

— Kennard used a multitude of cliches in answering a question about the team’s physicality and toughness. It’s like the words were coming out of Patricia’s mouth. “We have an opportunity but we have to show it every day. We have to be consistent, that’s what we’re working to build,’’ Kennard said. “We’re still on camp mode. Everyday we’re trying to grind it out. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, we’re grinding it out, day in and day out.


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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