The Lions rookies have been here for a little over a week now, and it's almost time for them to join the veterans to start OTAs.
"I'm really excited for the OTAs to come up," linebacker Jarrad Davis said Friday. "It's going to help me as a rookie coming in, being able to get comfortable with what the speed of the game is like – what the intensity of the game is like, how we operate as a team.
"You can only do so much in rookie minicamp. When you get out there with the older guys, the veterans who have been here for a while who know exactly how things go down and how the whole operation goes down, you've got to either hit the ground running and catch up or get left behind."
Fellow rookie, cornerback Teez Tabor, has no plans to be left behind, literally or figuratively. He's using all of the criticism on his timed speed during the pre-draft process as extra motivation.
"It adds fuel to the fire," Tabor said. "It's like when you tell someone they can't do something then you're basically making them try even harder to do what you're telling them they can't do."
VETERANS READY TO GO
Like their rookie counterparts, the veterans have their own reasons to look forward to the next phase of the offseason training program.
For tight end Eric Ebron, it's a chance to get more work in with new teammates Michael Roberts and Darren Fells.
"I can't wait until OTAs to find out exactly, but I think it's going to play a significant role to allow me to do the things I'm best at," Ebron said. "I hope for it. We hope for it. We'll just go based off what happens in OTAs and what Jim Bob (Cooter) has in store for us."
Ebron believes if he can just stay healthy, the rest will come for him.
"I just want to stay healthy," he said. "If I can just stay healthy, I know for sure ... I believe in my ability and the things that I can do. So, if I can just stay healthy, I'll just prove what I should have proved years ago."
Ebron isn't the only Lion looking to rebound from early injury issues. Running back Ameer Abdullah has a lot he hopes to achieve after a 2016 season cut short.
"I feel like for me, personally, I've got a lot that I want to achieve. A lot that I left out there last year that could have been," Abdullah said. "This year, I'm really attacking things with a more focused mindset of getting everything done."
TASTE OF THE LIONS
The Lions hosted the 5th annual Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field Wednesday evening. This year's theme was pretty appropriate given the current renovation project at the stadium: Construction.
Fans strolled Ford Field sampling food and drinks from different restaurants, while getting a peek at the stadium upgrades and mingling with Lions players.
Team president Rod Wood spoke at the event, giving everyone an update on the renovation progress.
"All the speakers are hung," he said. "The ribbon board is completely installed. The framing for the big video boards is going up, it's not completely in. The club seats are being installed.
"You can't see behind the drapes, but the clubs and the new suites are well under way. The lounge is well under way. WIFI is essentially done in the bowl, they are going to finish it in the clubs and the suites as they're doing the renovations, so we're right on schedule."
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- See what Lions Legend Barry Sanders had to say about the current state of the Lions' running game.
- Tim Twentyman takes a look at some interesting statistics for each of the Lions' nine draft picks.
- Watch Tori Petry give the second update in the summer series covering the latest developments in the Ford Field renovation project.
- View photos of Detroit Lions Cheerleaders being surprised with the announcement that they've made the 2017 squad.
- Sam Martin hopes to work out with fellow punter Johnny Hekker this summer.
- Rick Wagner and the Lions are mutual beneficiaries of what some day might be looked on as a golden age for offensive linemen in the franchise's history.