After taking part in rookie minicamp over the weekend, the Lions' first-year players joined the veterans for the final week of workouts before OTAs.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” first-round pick T.J. Hockenson said Tuesday. “Just being with all these guys, meeting some guys, seeing familiar faces. We’re all trying to get better every day. This is a job – the best job on earth. We’re all trying to go to work and do our job.
“Competition every day is very high. You’re in the highest level of the game. You have to come to work every day and go to work, compete for a job, compete for the team. We want to be the best team we can be.
“We’re at the highest level now.”
Hockenson isn't the only new face in the tight end room. He's joined by Jesse James, who the Lions brought in via free agency this offseason. Both players are likely to have a big role in the offense this year.
“I imagine that’s why they brought us here,” James said. “They didn’t bring us in here and pay two guys a lot of money to do nothing and just have one guy out there at a time.
“So, I imagine that’s Bob Quinn’s image for us is to go out there and be productive and do something special.”
Next week will be our first glimpse at the 2019 Lions as the team will open one out of every three OTA days to the media.
SECOND-YEAR PLAYERS EYE IMPROVEMENT
As a whole, last year's rookie class had a solid debut season, and those guys are back this year trying to improve even more.
“Honestly, I attacked this offseason as if I was expected to walk in and be a leader of the secondary,” safety Tracy Walker said in a recent interview. “That’s what I intend to hang my hat on. I definitely want to see myself as that guy.
“I took a different approach (to this offseason). I took the approach that I have to be better in every aspect – mentally, physically and emotionally. I’ve got to make sure I’m well rounded, so when I come back, I can be ready to grind it out.”
Fellow second-year player, defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand, is also looking to build on the positives from his rookie season.
“I was just trying to gain my routine,” Hand said at Wednesday's Taste of the Lions event. “Learning my way around the building.
“Now ... I can kind of just hone in on my craft."
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- Team president Rod Wood confirmed Wednesday that the Lions are still interested in hosting the NFL Draft.
- Tim Twentyman takes a look at the top NFL Draft picks the Lions will face this year.
- Watch the Lions and defensive back Quandre Diggs surprise a local Lions fan with a new jersey following recent flood damage to her home.