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Agnew hit the film room this offseason to scout opponents

How does Jamal Agnew go about topping a rookie season in which he led the NFL in both punt return average (15.4) and punt return touchdowns (2) while earning an All-Pro nod?

Agnew and Arizona's Budda Baker, who made it as a special teamer, were the only rookies to be honored with All-Pro selections last season.

"I stay motivated," Agnew said after Sunday's first padded practice of training camp. "I'm always trying to get better. Trying to find new roles on the team."

Agnew played a little bit on defense as a slot cornerback last season, and is in the mix of players competing for a larger role at that spot this year in camp. He also played a little bit on offense because he's such a dynamic open-field runner. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see him play on that side of the ball in certain packages again this season.

However, it's special teams and returning punts where Agnew really made his mark as a rookie. How does he go about improving that area that was already the best in the NFL a year ago?

"I think something that stuck with me that a coach told me was, especially coming into this year, was that you can't do the same thing you did last offseason going into last year," Agnew said.

Agnew knows that because of the season he had last year there won't be any sneaking up on teams in 2018. He was a fifth-round pick as an undersized cornerback out of San Diego last year. It's possible opponents overlooked him, at least early on, until his play forced them not to.

Every special teams coordinator in the league set to play the Detroit Lions this year will have a complete and thorough scouting report on Agnew and a game plan for containing him starting Week 1.

View photos from Day 3 of 2018 Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

So part of the way Agnew set out to improve his craft this offseason was to do a little scouting of his own. Agnew said he hit the film room.

"I'm trying to find weaknesses in other team's punting units and kickoff units and just little things like that you don't really think of as a rookie," he said. "Coming in as a rookie, you're all over the place trying to learn different things. Definitely coming into the second year, I'm really learning to focus on the smaller details."

It's that attention to detail that has Agnew confident he can be an ever better return man in year two.

"I'm hopeful," he said. "I'm confident I can. I have a lot of work to do. Fortunately, I was blessed with All-Pro (last year), but I have to get even better this year. That's my goal. Come out here and get better at something every day. It ticks me off if I don't get better at something every day.

"I want to be at that great level, so consistency, coming out here every day with a purpose, I think is crucial."

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