NOTEBOOK: Ryan Broyles recovering, competing in new scheme

Posted Jun 3, 2014

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles can't start thinking about earning a roster spot until he gets a firm grasp on Joe Lombardi's complicated offense.

Ryan Broyles is going to get every opportunity in training camp to compete for that third, fourth or fifth roster spot at receiver.

However, before he can focus on the competition aspect of his job, he and the rest of the receivers have to learn a much more complicated offense than the one the Lions ran previously.

“It’s more creative,” Broyles said of Joe Lombardi’s offense. “Last year we (ran) a lot of spread out stuff, it was mirrored on both sides. There’s more going on in this offense.”

Ryan BroylesWR Ryan Broyles (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Broyles said the route tree every receiver is expected to know is much greater under Lombardi, and though there’s about the same number of plays and same number of formations in the offense, the number of routes available in every formation is much greater.

“There’s guys still messing up out there,” Broyles said of the complicated nature of the offense. “We’ve been putting in the work, though, and I think it’s good for us.

"Coach is going to get guys open. Last year, it was put C.J. (Calvin Johnson) out there and expect him to win one-on-one. A lot of guys don’t have that ability all the time, so coach is going to put you in the right place to give you some routes, some change of direction routes and double-move routes (to help players get open).”

As for Broyles, who’s coming off his third major leg injury in as many years, he says he’s feeling great and is participating in OTAs, but plans to be “smart” with his recovery.

All he’s asking for is an opportunity to compete come training camp and the new coaches are going to give the former second-round pick that chance.

“It gives you a chance to make a new impression,” Broyles said of the new coaching staff. “This year it’s a fresh start. Like coach (Jim) Caldwell said from the beginning, guys are coming out here hungry and it doesn’t matter where you were drafted or how much you get paid, guys are out here working and having a good time.

“That’s what you want. You don’t want to have guys predetermined where you’re going to be and where you’re going to play. Coaches get a fresh eye on you and you can do your business.”

According to Broyles, players are going to have to earn roster spots and playing time.

“That all you can ask for,” he said.


Teryl Austin is the defensive coordinator and it’s his defense the Lions are implementing and learning. It's Austin's baby through-and-through, but that doesn't mean there's a dictatorship going on in that defensive meeting room.

“As far as player input, I think that’s the important thing because we don’t play the game,” Austin said. “We put the schemes together and we have a structure of how we see our defense. A lot of times, a player will come to you after he’s been in it, studied it and say, ‘Hey, is there a way we can do this because this is a little better for all of us out here?’

“We look at it and if it is, we make the decision and do what they say. I mean, Jim (Caldwell) always talks about intellectual property, (players) have intellectual property too because they’re on the field playing.

Austin said he welcomes the feedback from players and it’s not just the nod-your-head-but-not-take-it-serious kind of listening, either.

“They’re going to come back with some really good feedback sometimes for you and you have to listen to it because if not, then what happens is a lot of times they’ll turn you off because they don’t want to listen,” he said.

“They’ll be like, ‘He doesn’t listen to me, why should I listen to him?’


Veteran receiver Golden Tate was among a number of players who didn’t participate in Tuesday’s eighth of an allotted 10 OTA practices for the Lions.

Tate is dealing with a sore shoulder, but it didn’t appear to be a big deal.

Tight end Joseph Fauria and receiver Kris Durham were also held out of the nearly two-hour practice session.

Safety James Ihedigbo, defensive end Ziggy Ansah, running back Joique Bell and linebacker Kyle Van Noy also sat out.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley, safety Glover Quin and cornerback Chris Greenwood practiced in a limited fashion.

Cornerback Chris Houston remains absent after undergoing toe surgery and defensive tackle Caraun Reid was attending his graduation from Princeton.