The Lions opened up rookie mini camp Friday and their new weapon at wide receiver and NCAA all-time receptions leader Ryan Broyles is champing at the bit to hit the practice field.
It’s what you’d expect to see from a competitor of his caliber. Broyles may not have the fastest 40 time or the towering physical stature of Calvin Johnson, but he is known as a pure football player, someone with a passion for the game. From his college coach Bob Stoops to respected former General Managers and analysts, Ryan Broyles is seen as a true to the heart football player.
With that being the case, it’s no surprise that he is disappointed with standing on the sidelines in his #84 Detroit Lions Jersey and cap.
While blogging for the Detroit Lions team website, Broyles confesses that it’s hard to deal with the Lions’ careful approach.
“Not being able to participate brings me back to after I got hurt at Oklahoma when I had to miss four games. I’m sitting on the sideline just so eager and competitive wanting to go in there and show what I have. I’ve been working the last five-and-a-half months to get to where I want to be. I get here and they’re pulling the reigns on me.”
Broyles does understand the tact that Detroit is taking with him though…
“They want to hold me back, which is reasonable, but it’s just not fun having to sit back.”
The good side of standing idle is that Ryan gets to focus on the playbook more intensely. Broyles continues…
“I feel like I’ve done pretty well learning as much as I have that they’ve thrown at me so far. Not having to worry about the physical part on the field, it’s just mainly mental.”
“The coaches know who they’re getting and they know the type of player they’re getting … now they want to see if I can come in and pick up the system. That’s the biggest thing for us now, meeting non-stop to get as much information in as possible.”
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz spoke on Ryan Broyles being held back from the non-padded practices.
Schwartz was quoted as saying, “He’s not ready to do any of this stuff yet, but he is working very well. He’s better than when we saw him at his pro day,” coach Schwartz continues… “He’ll be better tomorrow than he is today. He’s had a very, very good rehab from his knee and has made good progress. But he won’t be competing in any of this stuff.”
Schwartz has never been one to offer up timetables for when injured players may return, and he’s thankful that Broyles doesn’t need to hurry back.
“I really don’t have an expectation for when he’s going to be back,” Schwartz said. “It’s going to be when he’s ready.
“And I think that’s one of the things we said when we drafted him: I think we have a very good situation for him because we don’t have to put him out there the very first rookie camp practice and expect him to be making plays. We can let his body be the guiding factor in that.”
The beautiful thing is this, Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lions are taking the right tact with Ryan Broyles, they are confident in the caliber of player that they drafted and they aren’t going to do anything dumb by rushing him back too early.
By all accounts Broyles has worked his butt off in his rehab from the ACL tear and is well on track to hit the field full-strength in due time. While Broyles feels bad that he can’t hit the field, he should know that Detroit Lions fans will be waiting to cheer him on when he does. Even if they were shocked that the Lions drafted a 2nd round wide receiver in the first place.
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