How quickly can Chris Greenwood apply classroom training to the field?

Posted May 24, 2013

It’s hard to categorize Greenwood for the simple fact that there are so many unknowns surrounding him

The Lions coaching staff won't consider a player graduated from rookie to second-year status until the third regular season game of their second season, according to cornerback Chris Greenwood.
Chris GreenwoodCB Chris Greenwood (G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

"I guess I'm still a rookie," the second-year player said after this week's open OTA.

It's hard to categorize Greenwood though, for the simple fact that there are so many unknowns surrounding him.

The team drafted him in the fifth round out of Albion in 2012, but he missed all of training camp and the regular season as a rookie with a torn abdominal muscle.

Greenwood was in the film sessions and the meeting rooms a season ago, but he wasn't able to apply what he learned to the field in actual reps aside from a three-week practice window last October/November.

It was over that span that the team was deciding whether to take him from the physically unable to perform list to active roster status, which they never did.

"I feel like I just know more of the scheme than I did last year," Greenwood said. "I was around for a whole year. Now, I get to actually go out there and rep it."

His athleticism shines through in individual drills with the defensive backs. He's long, fast, has good feet and transitions well. The big question is how that will translate to an 11-on-11 setting.

"He's looked good," veteran cornerback Chris Houston said of Greenwood's progress through the offseason training program and into OTAs.

"He's been here working out on technique, doing everything in the weight room. I can't wait until he gets to preseason and gets to go against other guys so I can really see what he has. That's all we're waiting for. But he's looked good in practice. A little rusty from sitting out, but he'll pick it up."

The Lions covet Greenwood's size (6-1, 193) and speed. He fits the new profile for their secondary and he'll get his chance in training camp to compete for a starting spot opposite Houston along with Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Ron Bartell, Jonte Green and others.

"Last year, I was just trying to soak up as much as I could," he said of being forced to watch training camp and regular season practices. "I did listen to what coaches were telling people and the corrections they were making, so I wouldn't make those same mistakes when I got back out there."

It'll be August until we actually see how much he was able to pick up last year and how he applies it to the likes of covering Calvin Johnson and Co.