Feeling healthy, Chris Greenwood has chance to impress

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Training camp is an important time for any young player, but this year is especially imperative for cornerback Chris Greenwood.

Training camp is an important time for any young player, but this year’s Detroit Lions camp is especially imperative for cornerback Chris Greenwood.

The third-year cornerback out of Albion has to finally prove he belongs in the Lions’ long-term plans.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said back in May that a team should know exactly what they have in a player by year three.

Chris GreenwoodCB Chris Greenwood (Photo: Detroit Lions)
“Some guys walk in from day one and they got it, and they just step on the field and they got it,” he said. “Some guys take a year. Some guys take two years. Doesn’t take more than two years. It doesn’t.

“If you don’t have it in three years, you don’t have it.”

Injuries have limited how much Greenwood has been able to show the Lions the last two seasons. When he did get on the field at the end of last year, however, he flashed some good things.

He's dealt with hamstring and hernia problems his first two years in the NFL, but came into training camp healthy this year and has remained that way through the first week.

He’s currently getting quality, second-team reps alongside veteran Cassius Vaughn. It’s an upgrade for Greenwood, who in years past was getting third and fourth-team reps when he was able to practice.

“That’s important for any player,” Greenwood said of the increased practice reps. “You get better by experience and getting those reps and getting that on-field work allows you to test yourself and see where you’re at and get better, especially going against (the receivers the Lions have).”

Greenwood is tall (6-foot-1), fast and has all the intangibles coaches love in a cornerback. He simply lacks the experience.

“I think he is learning more and more, and getting more experience as he’s out here,” Caldwell said. “He’s coming along well, he’s making good progress.

“Obviously, this week is going to be a big week in terms of practice, mostly padded practices, but then also at the end of the week we’ll get a chance to see where we are in relationship to other teams in the league.”

The Lions host Cleveland to kick off the preseason on Saturday and it’ll be an early opportunity for Greenwood to impress this new coaching staff in a game situation. He hasn’t had a lot of those opportunities his first two seasons as he’s played in just two preseason games in two years because of injury.

The Lions are looking for depth behind starters Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis and Greenwood has an opportunity to stand out from the crowd because of his physical abilities.

He’s been more conscious of preparing his body for practice in terms of his stretching routine and also his recovery after practice this year. So far its worked.

“Right now I’m just trying to get better and stay healthy,” Greenwood said. “Just perfect all the little things so that the big things can take care of themselves.”