Camp Spotlight: Safety Miles Killebrew

Posted Aug 16, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of safety Miles Killebrew during training camp practice.


Position: Safety

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 217

College: Southern Utah

Experience: Rookie

Outlook: Killebrew has a ton of physical skill, but like any rookie, the mental part of the game is still a work in progress.

He can run and hit, and should have an immediate impact on special teams if he’s active on gameday. Right now, he’s behind the veterans in front of him when it comes to understanding the defense and seeing the field from the safety position. It’s certainly not uncommon for a rookie coming from a small school to be behind.

It’s also not easy when veterans like Glover Quin and Rafael Bush make it look so easy, but Killebrew is getting there.

He seems to be becoming more and more comfortable every practice, and the feel for the game can be seen in flashes.

He’s competing with Bush, Tavon Wilson and Isaiah Johnson for the starting strong safety job. All three of those players look to be ahead of him at this point, but a lot can happen in three weeks and three preseason games.

He had three tackles and a forced fumble in last week’s preseason opener.

Practice report: Killebrew admitted he was a deer in headlights the first time he stepped on the field in training camp. That certainly isn’t the case anymore, but he shows signs here and there that he’s still adjusting and learning the scheme.

He had to be corrected on an alignment in 7-on-9 drills, and also seemed unsure of his responsibility in a goal line team drill when the receiver across from him went into motion. That’s all stuff that will come the more comfortable he becomes with the scheme.

It’s no surprise he continues to get reps around the goal line when the Lions go to their heavy package on defense. He has great size and good speed, and is a load coming north and south.

He did fine in 7-on-7 drills Tuesday. He stepped up nicely and cut a couple receivers off their routes when they went into his zone. The quarterbacks stayed away from him for the most part.

Quotable: "I’m not certain we have anybody on the squad any more eager to get in pads than Miles and have an opportunity to play in a ballgame where he can actually tackle, because I think sometimes out here what we do, we don’t take anybody to the ground,” head coach Jim Caldwell said.

“There may be every once in a while I see a little twinge of frustration in his eyes. I think he’s got some ability and we’ll see what happens.”