Stafford: Matt Patricia brings’great energy’ to Lions

Allen Park — The confluence of a new season and a new coach has generated expected optimism and excitement around the Detroit Lions, not just with the fans, but with the players, who began the offseason program with voluntary workouts last week.

Matt Patricia — hired in February as Jim Caldwell’s replacement at the helm — has wasted little time making a good first impression with the team.

Lovullo said first base coach Dave McKay took blame for Saturday night’s base running miscue that cost Deven Marrero a home run. With two on and one out in the fourth inning, Marrero hit what appeared to be a three-run homer off Rich Hill over the left center field wall.

But Alex Avila, who was on first base, went back to the first base to tag up thinking the ball may be caught. In the process, Marrero passed Avila on the base path between first and second. Roberts appealed the play and the after a review, Marrero was ruled out.

It was pretty impressive how Dave… was accountable for the home run baserunning mistake, Lovullo said. He said it was his fault and I know he felt bad about it. I think we were all ball watching at the time.

But he’ll be champing at the bit if he sees Bryant line up against him in an actual game, something that Bryant has stated he’d like to do. Oh, it’d be even better [than in practice], Jones said, smiling. I am sure he is going to find a way to play against us at some point. I don’t think he’s going to lose his dominance anytime soon. He’s still got a lot more years left in him. Jones and Heath had only good things to say about their former teammate. Heath remembered how Bryant played down the stretch in 2014. Heath specifically pointed to the 158-yard, two-touchdown performance Bryant had against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, and the three-touchdown game at Philadelphia in December that season. The end of that season he was arguably the best receiver in the league at that point, Heath said. He’d always make crazy catches in practice, but we kind of got used to that.

We’d see it so much. As a rookie, I’d be kind of impressed by it and then I was like,’Well, that’s Dez just doing what he does.’ I just have a lot of memories of him doing amazing things on the field. That’s a thing of the past. Monday marked the beginning of a Cowboys era without Dez Bryant. The voluntary, nine-week off-season program is conducted in three phases. Phase One, which started Monday, is two weeks of activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. It was good to see all the guys again, Heath said.

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