Lions turn up intensity in practice to replicate game action


Are the Detroit Lions getting enough intense work during scrimmages?

That seems to be the big question rumbling through the kingdom as Coach Dan Campbell hinted that he will rest most of his starters again Friday (8 p.m.) during the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers.

Perhaps this signature play during a recent practice might provide some answers. Running back David Montgomery ran a sweep around left end with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson in hot pursuit. Before Gardner-Johnson could wrap up, Montgomery stiff-armed and shoved him to the ground. Then Montgomery glared at Gardner-Johnson as if to say “get your bitch ass off me.”

Gardner-Johnson did not get totally punked. He quickly bounced back up and made the tackle.

“It’s as close (to a game) as you can be,” Montgomery said. “We were tackling.”

There were times players held up slightly on teammates. But for the most part the Lions laid it on the line.

We find out in two weeks whether that game plan is the right one for the season opener at Kansas City against the world champion Chiefs.

The Lions starters get more reps against starters in the controlled scrimmages than in preseason games. They try to simulate games as much as possible by piping in crowd noise.

** If you are looking ahead to the season-opener against Kansas City, seven different betting sights list the Lions as 4.5 point underdogs to the Chiefs. That is no blow out. Folks are looking for a competitive game.

** Hall of Famer Lou Creekmur, who made eight Pro Bowls during a 10-year career, is considered the best left tackle in Lions history. I disagree. Lomas Brown, who recently joined the Lions ring of honor, should hold that title.

Brown made seven straight Pro Bowls from 1990-1996 and help provide a running path for Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

Brown should also be fitted with a gold jacket and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet

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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK