Greg Salas stands out, hopes to catch on with Lions

Posted Aug 14, 2015

In a tough training camp position battle, a player needs to find a way to stand out. Wide receiver Greg Salas did just that in the Lions’ preseason opener.

Greg Salas was one of the best cornerbacks in the state of California at Chino High in the mid 2000s. He was one of the state’s best sprinters too.

He chose to play football at Hawaii over other west-coast schools and arrived on campus ready to make his mark on the Rainbow Warriors' defense.

Greg SalasWR Greg Salas (Photo: Detroit Lions)

But head coach June Jones saw Salas’ height (6-2), speed and ability to play the ball, and moved him to receiver.

Salas never played a down at cornerback ever again.

“It was definitely fun in high school playing corner,” the Lions veteran receiver said Friday after practice. “I was one of those guys who was a press corner. They just locked me up against the best receiver and I’d do a good job of shutting them down and getting a lot of interceptions. I miss it a little bit.”

Salas says his time playing cornerback still helps him to this day as a receiver.

He went on to record over 100 receptions in both his junior and senior seasons at Hawaii and had 1,889 receiving yards as a senior with 14 touchdowns.

He was a fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2011 NFL Draft, but has bounced around with stints in New England, Philadelphia, New York (Jets) and now Detroit.

He’s hoping to catch on – literally -- with his fifth team in five years and make the Lions’ 53-man roster out of camp.

Salas is among a group of receivers fighting for the last couple spots on the roster. He’s in that mix with Jeremy Ross, Lance Moore, Ryan Broyles, TJ Jones and others.

With a big group like that, a player needs to find a way to stand out. Salas did just that in the Lions’ preseason opener vs. the Jets Thursday night.

He caught five passes for 92 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown from Dan Orlovsky in the third quarter that put the Lions up 17-3 in an eventual 23-3 victory.

“It’s super important,” Salas said of taking advantage of opportunities to stand out from the crowd. “Practice makes perfect, but you have to get out there and do it on the stage and you’ve got to be able to perform in games.

“(Coaches) want to see it translate from, ‘ok, you make a mistake maybe in practice, you get it corrected and do it right in the game.’”

The Lions are looking for consistency above all else from the names mentioned above for the final receiver spots. Coaches and front-office personnel have to see it in practice and it has to carry over to the games.

Salas had a nice start to his preseason. The key moving forward for him is to avoid the drop off, keep making plays and keep making coaches take notice.