Morning Roar: The Lions take two fields

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Caldwell is still trying to learn exactly what to expect from all 90 players on his Detroit Lions roster, from Calvin Johnson all the way down to Quintin Payton, who the team claimed on waivers Tuesday.

To do that, the Lions are employing two fields during training camp, but Caldwell insisted not to read too much into who is participating on what field even though the majority of presumed starters all end up on the same field together.

"We try to make sure that we get everybody reps," Caldwell said. "It's more of a rep chart than a depth chart at times when you see us working on the other field. What we're trying to do, most teams you see have those guys standing around just kind of watching one group.

"We try to spread it out a little bit so we try to build some depth as part of building our foundation. We try to get as many reps as we can for some of those guys who are going to be helping us, particularly in the preseason and also in backup and support roles as well."

While Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and the majority of the other front-line players all end up on the same field, players such as Ryan Broyles, Theo Riddick and Joseph Fauria have ended up bouncing between both fields during the first two days.

Detroit has been especially big on rotating players in its front seven, sometimes matching players who project as key reserves with established starters (for instance, Tahir Whitehead lined up next to DeAndre Levy at linebacker for some snaps). All of this is happening so Caldwell and his staff can get an idea of who is playing well -- and who meshes well together.

"It’s not quite like a hockey line, but we move them in and out as much as we can. We have some depth up there and we have some talent," Caldwell said. "We’re trying to get everybody involved as much as we possibly can, but the big thing is reps are precious. You can see the way in which we work that we try and multiply the number of reps that we by splitting them up on to different fields for a couple of periods.

"That’s very important to us. That shuffle that you see is one that should be able to pay dividends for us in the long run.”

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