The 6-foot-7-rookie tight end has been a good red zone player for the Lions this year. He’s caught two touchdown passes and has been a big target down there for quarterback
Fauria said part of his maturation has been learning the X and Y receiver positions and more of the offense in general so offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has confidence to use him in different roles.
"Now, I should be ready for all the other 80 yards," Fauria said Thursday. "Scoring touchdowns doesn’t hurt me, but when it comes to where the majority of plays are, and that’s those other 80 yards, I want to prove (I can make plays)."
He played just nine snaps last week in Green Bay and 13 the week before vs. Chicago, but Linehan says Fauria will have an increased role moving forward.
"He is going to play more than he has to this point," Linehan said. "He is on track to do great things for us too. He is a young player but he has certainly played really good football for us and will play more snaps for us as we move forward."
With the Lions still uncertain about All Pro receiver
"I think Joe, since the time he’s been here, has impressed us and made plays when given the opportunity," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "He’s young. Like a lot of young players, there are some inconsistencies that he is working on to improve on. He certainly has talent to be able to make plays. We have seen that in red zone a few times."
Fauria says the key thing is showing he can be trusted.
"Tight end is one of the hardest position out there," he said. "You have to know receivers, you have to know where the running back goes, you have know how the o-line is blocking. It’s a tough position to learn and I took it week-by-week.
"I understand my role as a rookie and a role player. I’m taking it in stride and learning and trying to get out there. I’ll be ready and I’m excited for the chance to showcase."