Lions not worried about Eric Ebron’s early drops

Posted Jul 30, 2014

The Lions are hoping early issues with drops will clear up once rookie tight end Eric Ebron gets more comfortable in the offense.

One of the knocks on Eric Ebron coming out of North Carolina was that he had issues with drops from time to time.

A Rotoworld study put that number at 11.4 percent of the passes thrown his way as a junior. A good number of those drops appeared to come from him trying to turn up the field and make a play before he’d secured the football first. Nonetheless, that’s a significant number.

Ebron has dropped some passes early on in Lions training camp, too, but head coach Jim Caldwell doesn’t seem concerned at this point.

“There’s a lot of things going on in his mind right now,” Caldwell said of his talented tight end. “I think you’re going to continue to see that he’s going to continue to improve and continue to get better, because he does have an unusual skillset.“

Eric EbronTE Eric Ebron (Photo: Detroit Lions)

The Lions are putting a lot on Ebron’s plate early in camp as he’s lined up as an in-line tight end, in the slot and even in the backfield.

“It’s tough, for any young guy that is coming in to a system, particularly the position in which he plays,” Caldwell said. “One thing I don’t think people quite understand about playing a tight end position, you can probably notice that he lines up in a number of different places. He lines up in a true tight end position, so he’s got to know all the blocking schemes and routes from there. 

“He lines up at an auxiliary, what we call an ‘F’, so he’s got to know all of the protections from that particular location, as well as the routes. We also put him in the backfield, so this guy literally has to know the slot receiver, the regular tight end and also the position in the backfield as if he’s a fullback. So, it’s not easy for him, he’s got to learn and adjust.”

There’s always an adjustment period that takes place for rookie pass catchers coming into the NFL, especially when a player has as many responsibilities as Ebron.

The Lions are hoping that once his head stops spinning and he can just play the drops will clear up too.