LIONS INSIDER

Ebron sees improvement, aims for more consistency

Posted Jan 13, 2016

Tight end Eric Ebron's offseason goal is to prepare himself for a more consistent third season.

Second-year tight end Eric Ebron was asked to sum up his 2015 season in one word during locker clean out day last week.

“Improved,” he said.

Not bad, because that's exactly what he did across the board in terms of his production from year one to year two.

He caught 22 more passes, more than doubled his receiving yards, and produced five touchdowns compared to just one as a rookie.

“I really showed that I can be a threat,” he said. “I really showed I can be valuable and I really showed that I can be trustworthy in tight situations. It’s now just continuing to improve and make statements and make myself known.”

The 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Ebron will have to continue to improve upon the 47 receptions, 537 yards (11.4 average) and five touchdowns he produced in 2015 in 14 games to live up to his draft status in the eyes of Lions fans.

That, Ebron says, is his plan heading into the offseason and his third NFL season in 2016.

“Just to stay consistent, man,” Ebron said. “It’s like I was talking to Fitz (TE coach Devin Fitzsimmons) about. I started off (this past season) great and ended great, it’s just that middle of the year, I get hurt, or something throws me off, or it’s just something.

“I just really want to put together a full-year football season. No injuries or anything like that.”

That could be even more instrumental given the recent announcement by Calvin Johnson that he could hang up his cleats this offseason. If he does retire, the Lions will need Ebron to be the player they envisioned when they selected him at No. 10.

Ebron said the knee injury he suffered Week 4 that kept him out the next two weeks “messed up the vibe” he had going early in the year. His goal next season is to put together a full 16-game slate of consistent play.

He has yet to play a full season in his first two years in the league. He missed three games due to injury as a rookie.

Ebron plans to continue training with Jon Porter of Porter Performance in Ocean City this offseason.

Last season, he gained 11 pounds of muscle and reduced his body fat by nearly seven percent working out in Ocean City.

“Just continue to catch 100 passes a day, continue to try and run great routes and try to stay as healthy as I can,” he said of his offseason regimen.

He also hopes the team decides to keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter on board. Ebron was a big component of Cooter’s offense the last month of the season, being targeted at least five times in each of the team's last four games.

“He’s very aggressive in the way he attacks and coaches us and teaches us, which makes us great,” Ebron said of Cooter.

“It’s the reason we were so great in the red zone and so great in situations and not turning the ball over (the second half of the season) because of how well he coaches us. If Jim Bob stays, that’ll be great for all of us.”