|Lions QB Kitna happy with first look at Calvin Johnson|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2007 21:48|
He was very happy with what he saw.
The Detroit Lions quarterback got to work with the draft's No. 2 pick at the first practice of a three-day minicamp.
``He's certainly going to be used to the best of his ability this year,'' Kitna said. ``He's going to give us a lot of options.''
Kitna acknowledged he couldn't get too excited after one non-contact workout, but he was impressed.
``He didn't break the huddle with the baffled look that most first-year guys have when they are trying to learn ... (offensive coordinator Mike) Martz's offense,'' he said. ``Heck, there are guys who have been working on it for a year that still don't always know what to do, but Calvin knew where he was supposed to be. He's obviously been doing his homework.''
Johnson joins a revamped receiving corps built around Roy Williams and Mike Furrey, who combined for 180 catches, 2,396 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
``Those are two men that proved what they can do last year,'' Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. ``We don't need to ask what they are capable of doing, because they've done it. It is on film.''
Detroit also added veterans Shaun McDonald, who played for Martz in St. Louis, and Marcus Robinson, who has 43 touchdowns in a 10-year career. They also picked up a pair of experienced running backs in Tatum Bell and former Michigan State star T.J. Duckett.
``This is exactly what you like to see as a quarterback,'' Kitna said. ``I don't feel like I have to do everything by myself. I just have to get the ball into their hands.''
The Lions also added players to the offensive line that was devastated by injuries last year. Detroit signed free agent guard Edwin Mulitalo, traded Dre' Bly to Denver for tackle George Foster and drafted Manny Ramirez out of Texas Tech.
``We've got a good blend of veterans who have shown what they can do in this league and young players on their way up,'' Marinelli said. ``I think it is beginning to mold itself into a very good group.''
On defense, the issue isn't new players as much as the health of the veterans. Last season, defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Shaun Cody both missed large chunks of the season, as did several starting linebackers. All of those players are in camp this week, facing Martz's complicated offense.
``Martz is the greatest thing in the world for our defense, but he throws everything under the sun at them,'' Marinelli said. ``We've tried to add as much speed on defense as we have on offense, and that seems to be happening.''
Several players, including running back Kevin Jones (foot), tight end Dan Campbell (elbow) and Mulitalo (elbow) are attending camp but not taking part in drills. Marinelli said that Jones, who suffered a potentially career-threatening injury late last season, appears to be recovering well. ``We're being told that the process is going well, but we also understand that those are only words,'' he said. ``We won't know much more until training camp.''
Defensive tackle Cory Redding is the only player not in camp after being made the team's franchise player.