Detroit is the latest stop in Oday Aboushi’s coast-to-coast travels around the NFL, and the Lions could be another team that benefits from his experience.
Aboushi has been with five teams since the New York Jets drafted him in the fifth round out of Virginia in 2013. He has made the regular-season roster with four of them and has started regular-season games at guard for all four of those teams.
That’s a lot of traveling by Aboushi to have a job in the NFL. And for the Lions—Team No. 6 on his travel log -- it’s a lot of experience Aboushi has gained that they can put to good use.
As the Lions continue to shuffle the different pieces to the puzzle of their offensive line in the last week of the offseason program, the ability Aboushi has shown to adapt and adjust to different schemes can have real value.
“Absolutely,” head coach Matt Patricia said. “You have guys who can do that and have kind of moved around and been able to have had success in doing that. That’s kind of one of the big keys there.
“Certainly, from a standpoint of knowledge, studying the game, being a smart, aware football player – he’s done a good job of that. That gives him a chance to go out there and compete physically in that position to see how that works.
“He’s been great.”
When asked about the value of last week’s three-day minicamp, Aboushi referred to it as a building block more than a finished product.
“It’s a good transition to start working up for the season and start building up to training camp practices,” he said. “It’s a good little introduction for what’s to come in the next couple of months for training camp.
“Everybody comes out here every day to compete and to get better. That’s the biggest thing – every day come out to take another step to get to where we want to be. Put that good day’s work in and everything will take care of itself.
“Right now, it’s a lot of teaching, a lot of fundamental work. A lot things you grasp in the offense, defense and special teams, and really just progressing. Guys getting into the playbooks. Guys getting down fundamentals. Taking teaching techniques and trying to prepare to put it all together.”
View the best photos from 2019 Detroit Lions minicamp.
Aboushi has started games at guard every season except as a rookie in 2013 with the Jets, who had a veteran offensive line with four starters who played more than 1,000 offensive snaps. After that, Aboushi got playing time with the Jets and three other teams as follows:
Jets, 2014: 15 games, 10 starts at left guard.
Texans, 2015: Seven games, five starts at right and left guard.
Texans, 2016: Four games, three starts at right and left guard. He also started two playoff games – a win over the Raiders and a loss to the Patriots.
Seahawks, 2017: Eight games, eight starts at right guard until sustaining a season-ending injury Week 15.
Cardinals, 2018: Eight games, six starts at right guard.
Aboushi was also with the Raiders in training camp and the preseason in 2018 but was released in the mandatory cut to 53 players. He was out of football until signed by the Cardinals.
Aboushi has a familiarity with the offense from his 2017 season with the Seahawks, where new Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was offensive coordinator.
Regardless of where he has played, Aboushi has bought into the principle of the continual search to improve.
“That’s what you hear around the league all the time,” he said. “It’s a week-to-week league. It’s year by year. No one stays the same. If you’re staying the same, you’re getting worse. Everyone comes out here with the mindset getting better and trying to build off that consistency.”