First day of workouts is like catching up with family for Detroit Lions

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The first day of offseason workouts, in many ways, is like the first day of school.

Everyone comes back. They chat. Catch up.

“It’s like seeing family members you haven’t seen in a while,” safety Don Carey said. “It’s just a big part of guys getting together, reconnecting, talking about offseasons.

“Outside of that, it’s just practice as usual.”

Things are a little different than usual with the Detroit Lions, though. The franchise is coming off a season in which there was a rare playoff appearance. The most recognizable face on the defense -- Ndamukong Suh -- is gone to Miami. The man with the most career starts in team history -- center Dominic Raiola -- is not back, either.

So there are different pieces in place, and while that happens with every franchise every season, there could be a little bit more getting-to-know-you in some position groups than others. Defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo -- one of the players who could try to help replace Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley and Andre Fluellen -- said no one really brought up Suh on Monday during workouts.

“No, no team is set on one person,” Carey said. “We’re still the same core guys are here. We’re still going to hold up Lion principles and still going to work together.”

At defensive tackle, though, the core is different. Haloti Ngata replaced Suh in terms of big-name presence and Cudjo is hoping to learn from the veteran, even if the two didn’t talk a ton Monday as they went through their first day in their new homes.

“He’s a vet,” Cudjo said. “He’s been around the league for a long time. I’m excited he’s here. I can pick his brain a little bit and learn some things and hopefully have a long career like he did.”

That's something most of the Lions -- especially the new ones -- are aspiring to as they attempt to replace some veterans who will no longer be around.

NOTES: Both tight end Joseph Fauria (ankle) and right guard Larry Warford (knee) said they did not have surgery during the offseason. ... The Lions announced every player other than safety James Ihedigbo showed up for the first day of voluntary workouts. That included right tackle LaAdrian Waddle, who Warford said was in attendance Monday as he continues to recover from a knee injury that ended his 2014 season.