Four takes on what we saw on day one of Detroit Lions training camp

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Defensive back DeShawn Shead
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Defensive back DeShawn Shead /
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There were some interesting pieces of information that filtered out of Allen Park on Day one of Detroit Lions training camp.

Training camp has begun. The Detroit Lions are actually on a football field, doing football things, in front of a crowd of fans. Only season ticket holders and media members were on hand today. The first reports filtered in regarding the team’s positional battles.

It is the first day of camp. Not every little detail means anything regarding who will make the 53 man roster. There were some interesting things to report about the first day of training camp, however. A few battles took interesting turns.

The outside corner battle

Teez Tabor and DeShawn Shead appear to be in a battle for the outside corner role opposite Darius Slay. Shead got the majority of the first-team reps on day one according to Kyle Meinke of Mlive. That is an interesting change from OTAs and minicamps in which Tabor had been getting the majority of the reps.

Shead brings veteran savvy and a winning pedigree to the table. He missed the majority of the 2017 season with a knee injury, but his 2016 season was exemplary. He came to the Lions as a free agent after spending five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

Tabor brings a chip on his shoulder the size of a California redwood to the party. He has been a punching bag for analytics people since the 2017 combine where he ran a very slow 40-yard dash. He is the ultimate litmus test for tape vs times. He was one of the best corners in college football, but many questioned the wisdom of using a high pick on an athletically challenged player. Tabor apparently defended at least four passes in second-team duty.

There is another wrinkle to this battle that goes beyond just picking the best player. Shead only has a one year contract. If the team was looking to free up cap space, his contract is one they could use to do that. Nearly half of his money was guaranteed, but there are no future cap consequences if the team were to go another direction.

The Lions defensive backfield is incredibly crowded. Shead was brought in due to his versatility, so it stands to reason that he will be on the roster somewhere. Bob Quinn had moved on from players on one-year deals before, however. Steven Ridley jumps immediately to mind as an example.

Shead may be getting the work with the ones because the Lions coaching staff need to see what he actually brings to the table. Reports are that he fared poorly against Marvin Jones, but that is a problem even Pro Bowl corners like Xavier Rhodes have at times.