ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Thoughts, notes and observations following the eighth day of Detroit Lions practice -- the final one the public was able to watch.
1. Johnson Bademosi had a good day: The reserve cornerback had a pretty interception that was the play of an otherwise ho-hum day at Lions camp. He had an over-the-shoulder pick of second-team quarterback Jake Rudock while defending Jared Abbrederis and a nice return after the interception as well. Earlier in practice, he had an impressive pass breakup against rookie Dontez Ford. Bademosi will make the roster primarily due to his special teams prowess, but the Lions had to use him at points as a corner last season. That he continues to show he has the capability to make plays like he did Monday could be a benefit if the Lions have injury issues and rookie Teez Tabor isn’t ready yet.
2.Jim Caldwell not worried about T.J. Lang: The right guard is on a pretty strict practice regimen so far in camp. He has missed at least four of the first eight practices for the Lions -- not all were in pads -- after sitting out all of the spring recovering from hip surgery. Lang said the hip feels really good but he was going to listen to the coaches when it came to how much work he’d get in training camp. The answer has been not too much. But that’s apparently by design and Caldwell isn’t worried about how that could hinder chemistry with new right tackle Rick Wagner and incumbent center Travis Swanson.
“It takes a little time and development, but he’ll be fine,” Caldwell said. “We’re trying to be prudent just in terms of practice time modification, but he’ll be fine when it all shakes out. Both guys have been around. Both guys have a good sense of offensive football and particularly line play. They’ll be fine.”
3. Matt Asiata got good reps: The former Minnesota Vikings running back got some first-team reps Monday -- seemingly part of a rotation in which he has been pushing to get involved. He’s a bigger back who runs hard that the Lions are clearly trying to get more of a look at. He has shown versatility on special teams as a blocker in front of kick returners, and he has the bigger type of body the Lions don’t really have in other backs on the roster. He won’t ever be a speed-type back like Ameer Abdullah or Theo Riddick, but he’s going to get a look. He’s another player where the preseason games are going to carry much more value than practices.
4. D.J. Hayden showed improvement: The former first-round pick from Oakland has been mostly quiet this camp. He hasn’t necessarily done much wrong, but he didn’t make many standout plays, either. On Monday, he almost intercepted a Rudock pass intended for Jace Billingsley. He also got work both in the slot and on the outside -- something Caldwell praised Hayden for after practice.
“He does have position flex, that’s the great thing about him,” Caldwell said. “He’s knowledgeable at both spots, so I think that flexibility is going to help him. You can see his quickness. You can see he can close and not only that, he’s a veteran guy that’s had some experience in this league, so he makes a lot of things look a little bit easier than most.”
No guarantee Hayden ends up on the final 53-man roster, but he has the money on his side if it ends up in a tie or close because Bob Quinn gave him $2.25 million guaranteed. If he has more days like Monday, that won’t be an issue.
5.Keep an eye on where Laken Tomlinson is being used: It’s not the most intriguing observation, but for the second straight day, Joe Dahl took first-team guard reps ahead of Tomlinson with Lang not practicing. The Lions also had Dahl work as the center with the No. 3 unit, so they are clearly giving him a long look as the backup interior lineman at all three spots. From what I’ve watched of Tomlinson in camp -- and it’s tough to get a true gauge because of the lack of true hitting and tackling -- he has improved a bit. But if Dahl can show proficiency at multiple spots, how and when Tomlinson plays in preseason games could give an idea of how the Lions truly view him. That said, the Lions will probably keep him on the roster but it wouldn’t bode well for his long-term future.
This and that
Linebacker Nick Bellore walked off the field and into the team’s practice facility during practice followed by a trainer and I didn’t see him back out there after that. He became the 13th active player to miss practice Monday after 12 guys sat out Monday’s workout. That included tight end Eric Ebron, who was running on the side again, and defensive linemen Bruce Gaston, Jordan Hill, Cornelius Washington and Brandon Copeland. ... The Lions had two guests at practice: former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith. ... Overall, the crowd level at the open Lions training camp practices was pretty subdued. Not much cheering and most of the days, save the mock game at Ford Field on Saturday and Sunday’s practice at Allen Park, were not extremely well attended. Detroit eventually added music to help spice up the crowd, but it felt like a very workmanlike atmosphere throughout those practices. ... The Lions are off Tuesday and practice at 8:30 Wednesday morning before heading to Indianapolis for joint practices with the Colts.