Lions players run practice without coaches; Hutchinson continues to impress

Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash

In a new training camp twist, the Lions took the field for practice on Monday afternoon without the coaches. Head coach Dan Campbell was in on the action but otherwise no coaches. It was all on the players for the short practice.

Campbell informed the players on Monday morning that they would be running practice.

“We come out here and work everyday so we know what to do. … you don’t need anybody in your ear to come out here to do your work and get better,’’ left tackle Taylor Decker said afterward.

Starting with drills, it seemed organized and took a few minutes to realize there were no coaches on the field.

“I think them doing that shows there is already an established level of trust between players and coaches and obviously players and players,’’ Decker said. “They trust us to come out here and work like professionals and not be stupid. … I’ve said it multiple times before and throughout camp there’s been a good atmosphere established for open communication and I feel that builds trust in one another.’’

On Tuesday at 6 p.m. Campbell and his staff have planned a full-padded practice as the coach describes it as Detroit against Detroit.

Hutch marches on

As training camp winds down for the Lions this week, one constant has been the play of rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

“Hutch, he’s a pro already. The way he studies and works. We had a play we ran today (in the walk-through) that he has never seen before. He goes, ‘Our offense does this.’ I said, ‘We’re not playing our damn offense. then we re-run it and he gets it right away,’’ Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said on Monday.

“So it’s amazing how well he can pick stuff up, he does not make a mistake, not even usually the first time. It’s a credit to him, he studies, takes care of his body. And probably more important, he’s just a great human being who fits in extremely well,’’ the coach added.

When asked to get into more detail about Hutchinson, Wash couldn’t pass up an opportunity. 

“I think it’s coaching, he’s really finally bought in,’’ Wash said laughing.

 “It’s the way he studies, he’s constantly in his ipad. I can’t say enough about him. We got the right one.’’

Hutchinson, who played at Michigan, was the No. 2 overall draft pick in April and has earned praise since Day One for his work ethic and football IQ.

He was the focus of much of the opening edition of “Hard Knocks” on HBO. The third “Hard Knocks” will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

Final preseason game

While Campbell said the starters will play about a half in Sunday’s third and final preseason game, quarterback Jared Goff will not play. Goff had talked his way onto the field for the preseason opener, but Campbell is staying firm on this and said he will not let Goff talk him into it.

Campbell said David Blough and Tim Boyle are “neck and neck” in the battle for the backup quarterback position.

Roster cuts upcoming

Each NFL team must cut its roster to 80 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

The big cutdown to the 53-man roster  is due at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

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 Amazon.com. 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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