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10 Takeaways So Far in Detroit Lions Training Camp

Detroit Lions Training Camp: 10 Takeaways So Far

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The Detroit Lions were the last team to begin training camp, and the team has been pretty busy since. Everyone is anxious for this Saturday night when the Lions become the first team to take on Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns. Until then, we have learned some things from the first week of camp. These are the 10 takeaways from the Detroit Lions training camp so far.

10. The Emergence of WR Corey Fuller

Corey Fuller Virginia Tech
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10. The Emergence of WR Corey Fuller

Corey Fuller Virginia Tech
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Corey Fuller spent his rookie season on the practice squad last year and is still on track to stay there, but after an impressive week, he is making the coaches re-think things. Fuller made some spectacular catches last week, and his speed would be a welcome addition to the Lions' passing game. He is still a longshot to make the team, but if last week means anything, he will continue to prove why he belongs on the active roster.

9. The Arrival of George Johnson

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9. The Arrival of George Johnson

George Johnson Buccaneers
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A former member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings, DE George Johnson has been a camp revelation so far. Johnson, in fact, has been getting first-team reps with Ezekiel Ansah sidelined on the PUP list. He is still a longshot to make the roster, but if his solid performance continues, the Lions will have a tough decision to make.

8. Right Tackle Is Open For Competition

Corey Hilliard Lions
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8. Right Tackle Is Open For Competition

Corey Hilliard Lions
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Both LaAdrian Waddle and Corey Hilliard started at right tackle last season, and while Waddle seemed to be the front-runner, the competition is still open. Waddle and Hilliard have been alternating first-team reps in practice. This competition will likely continue until the third and most important preseason game.

7. The Lions Can't Afford An Injury to QB Matthew Stafford

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7. The Lions Can't Afford An Injury to QB Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford Lions
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Matthew Stafford has been able to avoid the injury bug the past two seasons, but it takes only one thing to go wrong for someone to go down. With the departure of Shaun Hill, the Lions only have journeyman Dan Orlovsky as a backup with starting experience. If Stafford goes down, the Lions are in deep trouble.

6. Darius Slay Has Improved Tremendously

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6. Darius Slay Has Improved Tremendously

Darius Slay Lions
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The player who has improved the most from 2013 to now has been cornerback Darius Slay. After struggling as a rookie, Slay has been one of the standout players for the Lions in the offseason. He is expected to have a bigger role this season now that Chris Houston was released prior to training camp.

5. Rookie TE Eric Ebron is Inconsistent

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5. Rookie TE Eric Ebron is Inconsistent

Eric Ebron Lions
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Rookie TE Eric Ebron has been up and down so far this offseason. He has had some well chronicled drops both in college and with the Lions, but he produces enough plays to justify his No. 10 overall selection. Ebron will be a big part of Detroit's game plan, and the Lions will put up with his early mistakes because of the tremendous talent that he possesses.

4. Theo Riddick Will Be A Key Weapon In This Offense

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4. Theo Riddick Will Be A Key Weapon In This Offense

Theo Riddick Lions
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With the New Orleans Saints, new Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi regularly featured a backfield by committee approach and often used three running backs. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are a solid backfield tandem, but Theo Riddick is poised for a bigger role this season. He will be expected to be the Darren Sproles of the Lions this season as a potent receiver out of the backfield.

3. Golden Tate Is A Serious Upgrade Over Nate Burleson

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3. Golden Tate Is A Serious Upgrade Over Nate Burleson

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After several years of poor production from Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham, free agent Golden Tate is now the answer as the complementary receiver to Calvin Johnson. A former Super Bowl champion, Tate also brings some much-needed championship experience and swagger to a team that has lacked both for years.

2. Jim Caldwell Is A Major Upgrade Over Jim Schwartz

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2. Jim Caldwell Is A Major Upgrade Over Jim Schwartz

Jim Caldwell Lions
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Jim Caldwell's reserved persona and respectful nature has been a welcome change after having the brash and arrogant Jim Schwartz at head coach last year. Caldwell's style of coaching will make the Lions a more disciplined team and a team that won't beat themselves, which happened a lot last year.

1. The Team Is Still Healthy

Detroit Lions
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1. The Team Is Still Healthy

Detroit Lions
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So far, the Lions have been able to escape the injury bug. Several teams lost quality players already, including the Colts losing former Lions guard Donald Thomas for the second consecutive year to injury. The longer the Lions can stay healthy, the better off they will be in 2014.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and connect with him on Google.