Detroit Lions: Day 1 report from OTA’s

The Detroit Lions have officially started their organized team activities (OTA’s) portion of the off-season schedule and there have already been a couple of interesting takeaways.


The offense is ahead of the game

In 2014, Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense were faced with the challenge of learning a brand new offense. This season they have a step up as they have a full year of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi‘s system under their belts. 

Stafford can already tell the difference.

“This time of year is a little different than last year, just because last year we were implementing a totally new offense,” Stafford said Tuesday. “This year, we’re kind of refining it, figuring out what we’re good at. It’s a big learning experience for the young guys.”

Per NFL rules, teams are not allowed to wear pads in OTA’s, but the offense already feels more comfortable than they did a year ago.


Lance Moore is already showing to be a leader

Veteran wide receiver Lance Moore just signed with the Lions on May 12th, but he is already proving to be valuable to the team. 

Moore, who spent his first eight seasons in the league with the New Orleans Saints, has a great deal of experience with Joe Lombardi’s offensive system and he is passing his knowledge along to the young players.

Matthew Stafford praised Moore and what he has done so far.

“He’s super smooth,” Stafford said. “He knows this system. He’s challenging guys on our team to run routes certain ways and give them new thoughts and things that they had done.

“He’s been in this offense for a long time. You’ve got to come up with new ways to run routes and diff trees and stuff like that. He’s doing a good job of bringing some of that knowledge to guys on our team.”

Tulloch is back in the house

Nobody would like to put what happened last season behind them more than Lions linebacker Steven Tulloch. In case you forgot, Tulloch tore his ACL last season while celebrating a sack against the Green Bay Packers.

Now Tulloch is back with the Lions and ready to re-join a defense that was dominant in 2014.

Dan Campbell did not take long to decide Aidan Hutchinson was his guy

From the Detroit Lions official website:

“It feels good,” Tulloch told after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m able to run around without even thinking about it; cut, jump and do everything.

Before the injury last season, Tulloch was one of the leaders of the defense, in fact, you could call him the quarterback of the defense. He is ready to get back to that this season.

From the Detroit Lions official website:

“To be back out there to make calls and make checks and make alerts and go out there and let guys know how important this next down is or what to expect from different routes and different plays, it’s a different feeling, and that’s where your voice is really heard,” Tulloch said.

James Ihedigbo ends holdout and joins his teammates

James Ihedigbo vowed that he would not join the team until he was given a new contract with the Lions. Apparently the Lions safety thought long and hard and decided to make the right choice by joining the team at OTA’s.

Ihedigbo, who is 31-years-old, was an important piece of the Lions defense in 2014. He is set to make $1.1 million in 2015 and it is unclear whether or not the Lions will give him a new deal before the season begins.


Other information regarding OTA’s

The OTA’s will be held May 26th-28th, June 2nd-4th, and June 8th-11th. The Lions will then hold a mandatory minicamp June 16th-18th.

The NFL has specific guidelines as far as what teams can and cannot do in OTA’s.

Here is a breakdown of those rules from Niners Nation:

No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills permitted, but team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. This includes 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11. Players can be required to wear helmets, but shells are not permitted. No live contact is permitted. (e.g. “live” blocking, tackling, pass rushing and bump-and-run).


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