But, according to Young, he’s never reached any of the goals he’s written down for himself. Not one in all the years he’s been doing it.
“I basically reach for the sky on my goals,” he said Friday after practice. “I don’t think I’ve ever really reached any goals I’ve wrote down because I set them so high. I always picture being open all the time and scoring all the time.
“It’s unrealistic to reach my goals, but I feel like when I think about those I think very highly of my ability. I like to write them the day before the season begins to keep them fresh in my mind.”
Young didn’t elaborate on what exactly those goals might be this year, but he is expected to have a much larger role in the Lions' offense this season, meaning more opportunities to make plays and potentially reach some of those lofty goals.
“To me, he might be the biggest match-up (advantage) we can continue to grow with the way people defend Calvin,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Young this offseason.
“When he gets on the outside part of the field, he can get behind the defense, and if you have that opposite a player like Calvin, that’s really when you got something."
Young finished with 48 receptions for 607 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie last year. Nowhere near his goals, according to him. He says he isn’t likely to reach them again this year, either, but he says he’ll still sit down and write them out on Saturday nonetheless, just like he's always done.
“It keeps me from being comfortable,” Young said.
Sunday will mark the first time since head coach Jim Schwartz took over in 2009 that the Lions will open a season at home.
In 2009, Schwartz made his head coaching debut in New Orleans, following that up with road trips to Chicago and Tampa Bay in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
“It’s definitely exciting to open at home,” Schwartz said Friday. The last game experience we all had at Ford Field was San Diego on Christmas Eve. Our crowd has been there for us not just last year; it’s been building for a while so a home-opener is very exciting.
“An opener in any sport is exciting – in football you only have 16. There are very few opportunities for it. So the crowd will be there. We have to do our jobs to give them something to cheer for and keep them in the game and affecting the game.”
“Both of those guys are getting better and we’ll see where they are on Sunday," he said. "Both of them are veteran players; both guys can step in and play with little or no practice time. But we’ll just see when we get to Sunday.”
The Lions will start
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was asked Friday if the defensive calls had to be simplified if starters Louis Delmas (knee) or Chris Houston (ankle) do not play Sunday vs. the Rams. If they don't play, the Lions will have four new starters from Week 1 of last season and a collection of players who haven't played a lot of games together.
Cunningham said there was no chance of it.
“No, we pay Tim Walton and Marcus Robertson a lot of money to coach them up, and they’re doing it,” Cunningham said. “You know, they meet at about 5:30 in the morning with the DBs and Tim’s done it for four years because we’ve had issues back there throughout the years I’ve been here. He works really hard at it and the players pick it up fast. I think we’re in pretty good shape on that part of it.”
Delmas declined to speak on the record to reporters in the locker room on Friday. He hasn’t spoken much this year, in fact, but who can blame him? What could he say other than to voice frustration with not being able to practice and play with his teammates?
Cunningham was asked, Friday, where the frustration level stands with his starting safety based on conversations he’s had with Delmas.
“I think its way up. I feel really bad for him,” Cunningham said. “You know, I watch him every day and try to talk to him if I ever have time and he wants to play in the worst way.
“I thought maybe there was a shot for him to be ready, but about a week ago - I realize I’m not a doctor - but you could see it. But I think if anybody can get ready quickly he will.”