Getting physical at Lions camp: Vet Marv Jones gets slammed by Jarrad Davis

Davis went after Jones in a seven-on-seven drill

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.

Jarrad Davis so far making Bob Quinn look smart for drafting him in first round

Davis works hard, has earned respect from the veterans

Can rookie Jarrad Davis live up to the hype?

At this point it would be shocking if he didn’t. He was drafted in the first round specifically to take over at middle linebacker, the position that makes the defensive calls.

It’s a big responsibility for anyone, let alone a rookie.

And yet, coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin have not hemmed and hawed about where Davis will play. Caldwell usually takes a more wait-and-see approach with first-round rookies.

It’s different with Davis.

“He’s an unusual guy because of the fact that he works extremely hard. He’s smart. He works at it. He’s dedicated and he’s still got a lot to learn,’’ Caldwell said at training camp this week. “He’s only been in this thing a matter of a few months now, but just anticipate and expect to see him to continue to grow.’’

Davis, who played at Florida, is not cocky. When he was drafted he talked about how he took it upon himself to learn the characteristics of a good leader and then developed leadership skills with the Gators.

He’s not expecting to be given anything. He’ll work hard to deserve it, thank you. It hasn’t taken long for his teammates to figure him out.

“I think he gives respect, so they give it back and I think that’s an important trait as well,’’  Caldwell said.

Pro Bowl safety Glover Quin, who has a good view of Davis in practice, has become a fan.

“I like playing with him. He’s all football. He’s very serious. He takes his job very seriously. He wants to be great. You can see it by the way he asks questions, by the way he works and the way he studies,’’ Quin said.

“He’s going to be a great addition for us. Obviously, there are a lot of things you’ve got to learn. That’s to be expected. With his size, with his speed, with his instincts, with his physicality, he’ll be able to help us in the middle. I think he’ll make a lot of plays for us. I’m excited to play alongside him, watch him grow. I’m also excited to help him in any way I can,’’ Quin added.

Davis is going to make rookie mistakes, but from watching him in training camp, all indications are that he’s a play maker and he’ll be ready to go in September. That is exactly what the Lions’ defense needs.

Matthew Stafford puts in extra work with rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay

Third-round pick expected to make the 53-man roster

Matthew Stafford and rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay are putting in overtime to find their comfort level with each other.

When Golladay was not happy with his first day of training camp he was smart enough to seek help. He asked Stafford if he could go through a few routes with him.

Mind you, it was hot and humid. The intensity level was high and it was just the first day.

One reason why Stafford is The Franchise is because he went the extra mile for the rookie.

“(He said) whenever you feel like you need something just come to me and I’ve gotcha,’’ said Golladay, the Lions third-round draft pick.

Stafford, who is entering his ninth season, had good words of advice and a way of making Golladay feel like he’s an integral part of the offense.

“It’s a great feeling, you know an older guy like that, a vet, taking me under his wing and helping me a little bit,’’ Golladay said. “What he really said to me was it’s going to come in time, just keep working on it and ‘I’ve gotcha.’’’

Golladay has made several outstanding catches in camp just like the Northern Illinois product did in the spring during OTAs and minicamp.

While there’s a battle for the wide receiver spots after Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr., he has put himself in the discussion. Don’t be surprised if he starts the season as the No. 3 guy.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he’s seen steady improvement but wants to see more before he inks Golladay’s name on the 53-man roster.

“He’s got a ways to go yet, but he’s got height (he’s 6-foot-4), he’s got ability, he’s got the drive and work ethic to try and improve each and every day so, we’re excited about where he is now but, this is a time where we’re really going to get an opportunity (to see more),’’ Caldwell said. “We can get a little bit more contact here coming up with pads on and things of that nature.”

Then, of course, the preseason games will be key. Expect Golladay to get plenty of reps while Tate and Jones get plenty of bench time.

Golladay loves the competition in camp.

“I’m just trying to get better every day. That’s all that’s really on my mind, every day getting better and perfecting my craft. Coming to work each and every day trying to learn something new I didn’t know the other day,’’ the 23-year-old Golladay said.

“I’m still a kid at heart, still a kid really, period. Coming out every day is fun, playing football.’’

He said he’s gotten camp advice from many veterans. They mostly sing the same tune.

“Really that it’s just a grind and get as much sleep as possible,’’ Golladay said.