Detroit Lions week 1 training camp notes
Lions coach Jim Schwartz has praise for Willie Young in the first week of camp:
"He's had a good, consistent first week of camp," Schwartz said. "We expect a lot from him. He's made plays for us; he's come a long way. But he's certainly not a finished product, and he needs to keep the attitude that he's had, a keep grinding that attitude, and not feel as though we've accomplished anything the first week in camp. Again, that's not an objective."
Lions D-line finds extra gear in workout: While it's often difficult to gauge the progress of the offensive and defensive lines until teams practice in full pads, Detroit's D-line stepped up its intensity in Sunday's workout. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch stripped WR Nate Burleson to force his first fumble of camp. Despite concerns over Vanden Bosch's age and health, he remains one of the hardest workers on the defensive side of the ball. That work ethic hasn't been lost on DEs Willie Young and Lawrence Jackson, who are taking advantage of the first-team reps they're splitting while Cliff Avril continues his holdout. Both players are moving well off the line, and surely would have sacks to their credit if contact with the quarterback were allowed. The starting DE job opposite Vanden Bosh still belongs to Avril when he returns, but Young and Jackson's efforts indicate the Lions should enter the season with outstanding D-line depth.
Coach Jim Schwartz quotes:
On saying that DE Willie Young was not ready as a rookie yesterday: "I think it was his rookie year, there was a lot. He still hadn't really become a pro yet. There's a lot of transition that goes on. Some guys take to it a little bit quicker. He had some maturing to do. Physically he did, but also emotionally, mentally or whatever, but he did. He made a big jump last year and looks and appears as though he's made another similar jump."
On comparing the Lions' defensive line to the New York Giants' line: "I think that we are an elite defensive line. I wouldn't compare us to anybody else. We're not trying to be the New York Giants. We're not trying to be anybody but the Detroit Lions. The talent that we have, if we play to our ability, that'll be enough. We don't spend our time thinking about anything else. We try to work, improve, go out every day and play well and stack ourselves up against ourselves and not how we rank in the League or anything else."
Willie Young on fellow DE Cliff Avril:
"He's a big piece of the puzzle," Willie Young, a Lions defensive end, said. "He's obviously a big part of the system, but right now we've gotta go with what we got."
While Avril sits out, Young and Lawrence Jackson are taking turns practicing at left defensive end.
As the Lions anticipate Avril's arrival, Young has a message for the fans:
"We're gonna be better than last year."