It’s the mandatory part of Detroit Lions offseason workouts now, the three-day minicamp to conclude the spring-and-early summer football before the final break before training camp. Some things stood out during a practice that seemed more dedicated to the run than normal, especially with pads not being worn.
1. The Stephen Tulloch mystery continues: Tulloch was excused from mandatory minicamp on Monday but not released from the team. No one is saying much of anything when it comes to what is really going on with Tulloch. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, met with the Lions last week and Tulloch thought there would be a resolution by now. Even Monday, he tweeted out “I’m waiting like everyone else... ” And, not surprisingly, Jim Caldwell declined to answer why Tulloch was excused from minicamp and why he’s still on the roster Monday, deferring to general manager Bob Quinn.
“I know that’s kind of a different way of asking a question that’s been asked about a thousand times,” Caldwell said. “And I’ll answer it the same way that I answered it previously. I think Bob covered that extremely well earlier.”
All Quinn has said is that it is a contractual issue. Meanwhile, Tulloch waits.
2. Glover Quin returned and slid into the starting lineup: Not surprising since Quin is one of the defense’s leaders, but he returned after two weeks away dealing with undisclosed personal issues and fell right back into his starting free safety spot. Next to him was Rafael Bush, giving an indication that Bush is the frontrunner to win the strong safety job. It’s mostly been Bush’s all along, as he’s taken almost every rep there. Isaiah Johnson, who had been working with the No. 1 unit in Quin’s absence, was pushed back to the second team.
3. Golden Tate had the play of the day: Tate had an impressive comeback route on the sideline on a throw from Matthew Stafford. Tate turned around and had to dive a little bit to get the ball in front of cornerback Nevin Lawson. As he was falling, he reached out with both hands to snatch the ball and secure it before landing on the ground, leaving Lawson standing there only able to make the two-hand-touch tackle. Andre Caldwell also had an impressive catch on a deep post route where he easily beat Alex Carter. Dan Orlovsky threw a good ball and it would have been a touchdown had it been in a game. Caldwell beat everybody.
4. Status quo with Taylor Decker: The rookie remains at left tackle. He’s been there for every first-team rep of every open-to-the-media practice so far this offseason. While the Lions might be trying to get him extended work there, it seems more and more at this point like Decker is in line to be the left tackle this fall. Won’t know for sure until there are pads on, but as of now everything points to Decker at left tackle and Riley Reiff on the right side.
5.Roll call: It seemed like everyone other than Tulloch was in attendance, although some players still are not participating. Defensive tackle Caraun Reid is making progress, but is still being held out. Brandon Pettigrew did not practice and isn’t expected back until training camp. Same with running back Ameer Abdullah. Also sitting out was running back Stevan Ridley (he hasn’t practiced in a while), wide receiver Corey Fuller (foot), offensive tackle Corey Robinson, defensive tackle Stefan Charles and defensive back Charles Washington.