Detroit Lions  

 

Lions coaches, players get back to work after two canceled OTAs

  • By Associated Press
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ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Schwartz was disappointed, Julian Peterson shocked, Jon Jansen dumbfounded.

The Detroit Lions' coach, linebacker and offensive tackle all went back to work Wednesday -- starting a three-day minicamp -- after the team's final two organized team activities were canceled because previous ones were deemed too intense by the NFL and the players' union.

"I was most disappointed for some of our players, not our established players, but the young guys who are trying to make the team, who are trying to improve," Schwartz said. "They were denied the opportunity."

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Jansen, the Lions' union representative, was taken aback by the charge that the team was working out too hard. He said none of his teammates came to him with a complaint.

"It wasn't player-generated," Jansen said. "It was from a spot check by the NFL."

Peterson has been in the league for a decade -- playing for the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, too -- and didn't believe anything the Lions had been doing was excessive.

"I was shocked," he said.

The NFL's collective bargaining agreement sets rules for drills without pads, and it was determined that the Lions -- along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens -- went too far this offseason. Schwartz said the league asked for film from a workout after a newspaper's headline indicated that Ndamukong Suh and Stephen Peterman were battling it out during workouts.

"It was the first practice with rookies," Schwartz said "Generally the first practice with rookies, there are going to be more guys on the ground because you have rookies who are trying to make a good first impression and you have veterans who don't want to be beat by a rookie.

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"They looked at that practice and didn't like the looks of it."

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said the penalty was costly because a team coming off a two-win season needs all the practice it can get.

Peterson, meanwhile, believes banged-up players perhaps benefited from not being at the team's facility for a couple days earlier this week.

Running back Kevin Smith might have been one of those players. Smith, who's recovering from major surgery on his left knee, caught a pass and sprinted down the sideline in one of the full-team drills Wednesday.

"I was nervous getting in the huddle and being in a team setting for the first time in five months," Smith said. "It was a huge step to do what I did and still feel good out there. If I keep it up at this rate, I'll be fine."

Smith is confident that he's on pace to practice with his teammates when training camp begins in late July. Lions president Tom Lewand said training camp will be open to the public as it was last year at the team's practice facility and Ford Field.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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