ALLEN PARK (WXYZ) - The Lions defense returned to the practice field on Monday, July 30 without Cliff Avril again.
"He's a big piece of the puzzle," Willie Young, a Lions defensive end, said. "He's obviously a big part of the system, but right now we've gotta go with what we got."
While Avril sits out, Young and Lawrence Jackson are taking turns practicing at left defensive end.
"I don't look at the situation that I need to step it up because of Cliff's absence," said Jackson. "I feel like every time I step on the field, I'm proving myself to the organization."
There is still no word on when Avril will arrive for Lions training camp, but many of the players that 7 Action Sports interviewed said they're leaning on another defensive end for leadership.
"I would have to say that Kyle [VandenBosch] is the leader, you know, first and foremost," said Jackson. "He's been in the league for a long time."
"I've watched Kyle VandenBosch; I've watched him as a player the previous three years in the league," said Everette Brown, a Lions defensive end. "Now I'm out here practicing with him, getting a chance to learn from his craft."