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08/07/12Author: Dave Birkett - Detroit Free Press

Lions notes: Willie Young’s pick/TD highlight practice

Lions notes: Willie Young’s pick/TD highlight practice

On the day Cliff Avril made his training-camp debut, Willie Young, who split first-team defensive-end reps in Avril's absence, made the play of Lions practice.

Young was lined up at left end with the starting defense during an 11-on-11 period Monday when he jumped to deflect a Matthew Stafford pass. But instead of knocking it down, Young plucked the ball out of the air and strolled into the end zone for an easy touchdown.

Though he has just one deflected pass in his first two seasons, Young said fans who oohed and aahed at the play shouldn't be surprised by his hands.

"Not if they went and did their research on me they shouldn't," Young said.


In 2006 as a redshirt freshman at North Carolina State, Young intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a score against Clemson. He finished his college career with three picks and 11 passes defended.

One of the standouts of off-season workouts, Young appears to have built on that momentum through the first week and a half of training camp. He said getting extra work, especially against the first-team offense, has allowed him "to be more of a professional."

"When you're getting two or three plays here, two or three plays there, it's kind of tough to get in a rhythm," Young said. "Obviously, I got kind of good at it last year with limited snaps and whatnot, but I made the most of the opportunity. I think being able to go six plays straight, that means a lot."

Coach Jim Schwartz said Young, who had three sacks in limited time last season, was one of the most consistent players during the first week of camp.

"We expect a lot from him," Schwartz said. "He's made plays for us, He's come a long way, but he's certainly not been a finished product, and he needs to keep the attitude that he's had and keep grinding that attitude, not feel as though we've accomplished anything the first week in camp. That's not our objective."

INJURY REPORT: Rookie Ryan Broyles sat out practice to rest his surgically repaired left knee as the Lions continue to slowly work their second-round pick into the receiver rotation.

"He went through (practice Sunday at Ford Field). That was his first time on artificial turf," Schwartz said. "He was a little bit sore today, but no different than what we've gone through. I wouldn't expect him not to be out here on Wednesday (players are off today), but we'll see."

Along with Broyles, safeties Louis Delmas (knee) and Don Carey (hamstring), running back Mikel Leshoure (hamstring) and offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) sat out, and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee) and running back Stephfon Green (knee) left early. Vanden Bosch said his injury is not serious.

Delmas has missed more than a week of practice with tendinitis, and Schwartz declined to speculate on whether he'll be 100% before the season.

"He's battled some soreness in his knee, and until we get a handle on that and get him through, then we don't need to worry about anything else," Schwartz said. "We're worried about short term and how that approaches. We're not worried about regular season."

BRIEFLY: Running back Jahvid Best remains in a holding pattern as he tries to return from two concussions last year. Backfield mate Kevin Smith was asked whether he thinks Best will play again.

"I hope so," Smith said. "I'm not a doctor. I don't know anything about his injury or to what extent, but I know that he has to put himself and his family first because this is a game in life that we play, but real life is real life. But I hope so. Jahvid's a great talent, he's a great teammate."

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