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Golladay showing right attitude after big performance

Around a dozen or so reporters and cameramen waited patiently for Kenny Golladay to finish getting dressed so they could talk to the man of the hour after last Sunday's two-touchdown performance in his preseason debut.

In his locker sat the football he reeled in with one hand in the first quarter for his first-ever touchdown in an NFL game.

Golladay was impressive last week in Indianapolis, no doubt, and he's turned heads ever since he stepped onto the practice field in Allen Park after the Lions selected him in the third round of the draft.

While his play on the field has been notable, his demeanor and work ethic should have fans even more excited about his future. He is quiet, humble and eager to learn, which are great qualities in a first-year player.

"Just come to work every day of practice and get better," he told the collection of reporters in Indianapolis. "And then come game day, just do what I have to do.

"I feel like I'll be pretty good as long as I keep working hard, come to work every day and just go out there and make plays."

Lions coaches and personnel people have to be excited about how Golladay has performed thus far, but head coach Jim Caldwell tried to temper some of the high expectations people outside the organization seem to already be placing on Golladay after a good start to camp and one preseason performance.

"It's one game," Caldwell said. "I'm not certainly making any pronouncements about how good he's going to be. He's going to play. He's going to play well and he's going to keep practicing and he's going to keep getting better."

Caldwell's been around awhile, and has talked on many occasions about the trials first-year players face in the NFL. It's just not often rookie players come into the league and set it on fire. Those players are special.

In the five years prior to this year's draft (2012-2016), 19 receivers were taken in the third round, the same round as Golladay. Among those names are T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, Tyler Lockett, John Brown, Terrance Williams and Donte Moncrief.

Of the 19, just one (Allen) recorded a 1,000-yard season as a rookie. The six players above had the most productive first seasons of the 19, and together averaged 49 receptions for 741 yards and five touchdowns. If the Lions can get anywhere close to that kind of production out of Golladay, they'd probably be elated.

On the other end of the spectrum, 12 of the 19 had less than 20 catches as rookies.

Golladay's been a nice story so far in camp. He certainly has the body type, skill set and attitude to go far. But before we set too lofty expectations for him, let's see how the rest of the preseason goes, and how well he plays early on in the regular season, when teams will be scheming against him.

Caldwell is doing the right thing by trying to keep expectations for Golladay somewhat in check.

"We just coach him like we always do. We look at everything and try to make certain that we focus in on things he can improve upon," Caldwell said.

"Much different than keeping him from reading the newspapers and listening to the radio and all that kind of stuff and he'll be alright. He's one of those guys that's got the right kind of attitude. He works. He's not affected by much it appears."

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