Ryan Broyles and others offered clean slate in 2014

Posted Apr 1, 2014

Ryan Broyles' first two seasons in the NFL have been marred by injury, but he'll get a chance to make a first impression on new coaches

A new coaching staff means a clean slate for all 90 players that will eventually make up the Detroit Lions’ training-camp roster.

Young players – especially some of the young cornerbacks – will have a chance to make their mark and impress coaches.

Ryan BroylesWR Ryan Broyles (Photo: AP Images)

A player like Mikel Leshoure, who has seen his role decline the last couple years, has a chance to increase his role in Joe Lombardi’s offense if he’s able to impress early on. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said down in Orlando last week he has no interest in trading Leshoure and wants to see him succeed in 2014.

Then there’s a player like Ryan Broyles, who will be afforded a “clean slate,” according to head coach Jim Caldwell.

"Everybody starts with a clean slate,” Caldwell said. “That's the beauty of it, you know?

"We have an opportunity to look at things from a new vantage point. If a guy wants an opportunity to remake himself, he has that opportunity, you know what I mean? So everything gets a fresh start."

Broyles is in the middle of his third consecutive offseason rehabbing a major leg injury.

He tore an ACL as a senior at Oklahoma, tore the other ACL as a rookie and ruptured an Achilles tendon last season. Broyles has played in 16 games in two years with 30 catches, 395 yards and two touchdowns.

"I know the deal with the Lions right now and you feel like you have a deadline because there's guys counting on you, especially coming in from the second round," Broyles told last month. "I feel like I have to go in there and prove something and maybe I did that a little bit before my body was ready (last year).

"This time around I have to just focus on my future. I'm 25 years old right know. I just have to be smart from this point on."

Broyles won’t rush back, but he does hope to hit the ground running when training starts. He’ll be 10 months removed from his latest setback.

The Lions signed versatile receiver Golden Tate this offseason, and are expected to add another in May’s NFL draft. Any production Broyles can provide this year will certainly be a bonus for the Lions.

The Lions drafted him with the idea he could be a reliable weapon in the slot as the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions. Broyles believes he can still be that player.

He’ll get his opportunity, like everyone else, to make a first impression on coaches when he gets healthy and back on the field.