LIONS INSIDER

Golladay making a good impression on veterans

Posted Jun 16, 2017

Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay has been impressive this offseason, and his veteran teammates are taking notice.

The Detroit Lions had five different players catch at least 50 passes last season, which made them only the fifth team in NFL history to accomplish that feat.

Detroit's offense spreads the ball around. There are plenty of opportunities for many different players to get their hands on the football and make an impact.

One of the new faces on this roster hoping to get in on some of the action is receiver Kenny Golladay, the team's third-round draft pick.

Golladay’s been impressive so far through OTAs and minicamp, and his veteran teammates are taking notice.

“Consistently, he’s getting better every single day,” veteran reeiver Golden Tate said of his new rookie teammate. “His route running is getting better. His knowledge of the game is getting better. You guys have seen these practices. Every single day you’re seeing Golladay make a big play down the sideline or making a contested catch.

“So, he’s showing up every day and that’s what you want to see in the young guys. I think this is a guy, if he continues to learn the way he is, he’s going to be able to help us this year.”

Golladay’s combination of size (6-4, 213) and speed does bring a slightly different element to this offense. He’s been making catches at all three levels early on, and he’s only going to get better the more he fine tunes his route running and his knowledge of Jim Bob Cooter’s offense.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has has no reservations throwing to his new weapon in practice so far.

“He’s doing a great job,” Stafford said of Golladay. “Obviously has a bunch of physical tools and it’s going to be on himself, me, the coaching staff and everybody to kind of bring him along and get him ready to go.”

Golladay admittedly has a long way to go, but it’s a good sign for both him and the offense that veterans like Stafford and Tate have taken early notice of his skill set.

Golladay was a back-to-back 1,000-yard receiver the last two years at Northern Illinois, and has an opportunity to carve out his own role if he continues to play and progress on his current trajectory.

Tate said he was excited for the first preseason game to see what Golladay can bring to the table.

The Lions obviously like what Golladay’s shown so far, but making plays in shorts and helmets is much different than making them in pads when the competition for jobs is real. Training camp and the preseason are going to be his first big tests, but so far so good for the rookie receiver.

“He’s catching the ball well,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Golladay. “He’s moving well, but he’s learning. He’s young. You don’t get bump-and-run coverages and things like that at this point in the stage of the game, so there’s a lot yet to be determined.

“But I do think that he’s a diligent worker, he’s serious about his craft. He tries to find every means possible to get better each and every day. So, I like his progress, where he is right now, but he’s got a long way to go. But he’s got ability.”