The Detroit Lions might be away from their facilities in Allen Park right now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t grinding in order to stay strong and prepare for a new season.
Cornerback Mike Ford is trying to step forward and take a bigger role on the team, and it appears he has some massive hops in order to do so. Recently, Ford showed off some of his offseason training on the internet and as part of that, an impressive jump was included.
Here’s a look:
It never gets old seeing players be able to do superhuman things during their workouts, especially when most regular folks realize they couldn’t pull things like this off in a million years.
Hopefully for Ford, he can use those skills to make some big plays for the Lions this year.
Mike Ford Stats
Ford cracked the team as an undrafted free agent back in 2018 and has played a solid role as a depth piece on the team since then. He hasn’t intercepted a pass, but Ford has put up 37 tackles in his career, and 3 passes defended. Impressively, the former UDFA has been able to hang on the roster as a depth piece and could be a guy the team looks to depend on for solid play on the back end.
Tyrell Crosby Shares Pool Jump Video
Ford isn’t the only one on the Lions showing off his powerful leg drive this offseason. Offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby recently showed off a video in which he lunges out of a pool without using his arms. It’s a clear example of leg strength and leg drive, a few of the most important things for an offensive lineman to have on his side. Obviously, Crosby hasn’t been skipping leg day.
As he said, the feat was “not bad” but it’s clear it was a lot more than that considering most can’t even get in and out of a pool without being careful. Crosby explained it was about a 48″ vertical that got him out.
Safe to say Crosby could become an internet sensation with moves like this, and Ford could do just the same with his jump.
Lions Defense Upgraded This Offseason
One side of the ball that needed the most change this offseason was the defense, which is Ford’s side. After a horrible pair of seasons under Matt Patricia, there’s already been some big changes on that side of the ball. How will that impact the team when all is said and done? The returns will be very positive according to a different piece.
In a piece breaking down some winners and losers of free agency, Pro Football Focus and writer Ben Linsey took a closer look at what the Lions have done, and found them to be a winner. Here’s a look at what he wrote on that:
“The spotlight is on Darius Slay, particularly after he publicly acknowledged last night that he wants out of Detroit, and as of Thursday morning, a deal has been put in place to send Slay to the Eagles. That is not ideal for the Lions. Despite the down year from a grading standpoint in 2019 (56.4 PFF grade), Slay remains one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. During the five-year stretch from 2014 to 2018, he ranked eighth among qualifying cornerbacks in overall grade, and he routinely draws shadow assignments against the opposing team’s best wide receiver, making those results all-the-more impressive.
As all that trade speculation took place, the Lions went about improving their coverage to soften the blow of his inevitable loss. They signed former New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins, a player who has been outstanding in coverage and as a blitzer for New England over his career but struggled when traded to the Cleveland Browns. He’s an intriguing option for a Lions team that needed an injection of talent into their linebacking corps. The hope is that the transition to Matt Patricia’s defense is smoother than the one Collins made four seasons ago in Cleveland.
Detroit then addressed the secondary with two more moves, trading for Patriots safety Duron Harmon (shocker, I know) and signing former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant. Both players were drafted in 2013, and neither has recorded an overall grade of 65.0 or lower over the course of their NFL careers, rarely dipping below 70.0.
Harmon has been a rangy playmaker on the back end of the Patriots’ defense at free safety. He is one of just eight safeties with 10 or more regular-season interceptions over the past three seasons. Trufant is a 6-foot cornerback who came into the NFL with sub-4.4 speed, and he figures to fit well into a Lions defense that plays a lot of press-man coverage. He’s not quite the same player as Slay, but he has shown in Atlanta that he is fully capable of being the No. 1 guy on the outside. Both players, along with Collins, should improve the Lions coverage in 2020 despite the loss of their top player.”
Detroit made some draft picks to aid the spot with Jeff Okudah and Julian Okwara coming into the mix along with John Penisini. That group figures to play a role and could be better than many think. Safe to say that will have to be the case to avoid another last place finish.
The hope is they can get some solid depth from players like Ford to improve as well.
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