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Joseph trusting his instincts & running to the football

Safety Kerby Joseph's formula for getting turnovers in his rookie season with the Detroit Lions sounds pretty simple.

So does his reason for not setting goals for himself.

A strong case can be made that whatever he did in 2022 should be repeated in 2023. Joseph played a key role on a defense that improved dramatically as the Lions went 8-2 in their last 10 games to finish with a 9-8 win-loss record.

Joseph, who came to the Lions as a third-round draft pick from Illinois, played 17 games with 14 starts. He had four interceptions – three of them off former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Joseph also had eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

"All I do is trust my instincts – trust my ability to make plays," Joseph said at training camp Thursday. "I trust that my coaches put me in the right spot in order for me to make those plays.

"Also, I just run to the ball every time."

Joseph laughed when he mentioned running to the ball, but there is a practical reason for doing it.

"Because that's where the plays happen," he said. "You never know. There will be times where there will be a break-out run. You don't know.

"You're just running and you're able to get a punch out, which causes a fumble or your teammate gets a punch out and now you got a fumble recovery."

Joseph recalled a play last season against the Vikings when he was the beneficiary of a teammate's play near the goal line. Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs punched the ball out.

"I was right there," Joseph said. "I scooped the ball up. It was my fumble recovery by his fumble."

Joseph showed a knack last season and in his final year at Illinois for getting turnovers. He said he's willing to play anywhere defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn wants him to play.

"He wants us to be more versatile," Joseph said. "I want to be everywhere and I don't want to come off the field. If I have to come down in the box then I'll play in the box."

View photos from Day 10 of Detroit Lions training camp on Thursday August 3, 2023.

Joseph obviously feels comfortable and confident in a secondary that was bolstered in the offseason through free agent signings and the draft.

He isn't setting goals for himself.

"I don't give myself goals," he said. "I feel like those goals will limit my ability. I wouldn't say I'm going to get five picks.

"Then I'm only going to get five picks."

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