Ifeatu Melifonwu Has ‘Smooth’ Transition to New Lions’ Role

Ifeatu Melifonwu

Getty Ifeatu Melifonwu on the field with the Lions in 2022.

The Detroit Lions made the decision to flip positions of Will Harris and Ifeatu Melifonwu on defense, and thus far, it seems the move is paying off.

Thus far, the duo is each adjusting to their new positions well, and the transition is a positive one for the team. Harris is chasing down a starting cornerback role, and Melifonwu seems to be coming into his own at safety.

During practice on Thursday, August 4, Melifonwu made a nice interception of a pass, showing he has instincts at the position. If the play made him look comfortable, that’s because he is.

Speaking to the media afterward, Melifonwu revealed that he thinks things are going well for him in the change.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Ifeatu Melifonwu, and Derrick Barnes meet the media at Lions Training CampWatch Detroit Lions guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai, safety Ifeatu Melifonwu, and linebacker Derrick Barnes speak to the media on August 4, 2022 at Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage. 00:00 – 5:21: G Halapoulivaati Vaita 5:22 – 10:14: S Ifeatu Melifonwu 10:15 – 15:24: LB Derrick Barnes Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: bit.ly/2OABzdx…2022-08-04T21:02:30Z

“I think the transition has actually been smoother maybe than I thought it would be because you know, I was working at both at OTA’s so I kind of got the mental side of it during OTA’s and then now, I’m physically doing it so I think the transition has been smooth,” Melifonwu told the media.

No matter where he plays, Melifonwu wants the Lions to know they can count on him to step up given his knowledge base.

“I guess my role is wherever they want to put me because I feel like I just have a like a unique body type to be able to play multiple positions. Wherever they see fit I’ll play. I basically got to know every position, corner, safety, dime. I even know some nickel so I just got to be ready,” he said.

Count on Melifonwu being ready and the Lions being able to turn to him if need be given his understanding and comfortability.

Melifonwu, Harris Not Discussing Position Switch

Despite the fact that both players are close and tied at the hip with this move, it doesn’t seem to have changed their relationship whatsoever.

According to Melifonwu, the pair hasn’t even discussed their big move, even though it has made some of the biggest news early in training camp.

“I feel like we haven’t talked about the switch. His locker is right next to mine, but we haven’t really talked about the switch,” Melifonwu said. “He knows the safety position and I know corner position, so we both know both positions really well. We haven’t actually talked about it now.”

It seems both players are simply doing what the staff asks, putting their head down and getting the job done. That’s all that can really be asked of a player during training camp.

Melifonwu Fits Lions Safety Position Well

To hear the process is going well for Melifonwu is not a surprise whatsoever given it always seemed he would be a good fit at safety.

Coming into the NFL out of Syracuse, there were some questions about whether Melifonwu would move to the position or not. At 6-3, Melifonwu has the kind of size that teams covet in a safety. He was always going to be one of the bigger corners in the league if he stayed at the position, so safety could fit his body better.

Additionally, Melifonwu has bloodlines at the position. His older brother Obi Melifonwu starred at the position in college:

UConn Safety Obi Melifonwu Career Highlights ᴴᴰFollow me on Instagram: instagram.com/scotttakade/ (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Follow me on Twitter! twitter.com/ScottTakade JBP on IG: instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ UCONN Safety Obi Melifonwu Senior 6'4 224 lbs Check out my backup channel: youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro song: youtube.com/watch?v=6k1FRzJn5VI (All rights go to the University of Connecticut, ESPN, xosdigitalsports, UConn Athletics, the American Athletic Conference, AAC Network, Universal…2017-03-10T22:06:31Z

In the pros, the elder Melifonwu put up just 10 tackles playing in only 7 games with 1 start and fought injury in his career. It’s possible the younger Melifonwu could be ticketed to play a better role in the league at the position. It might also allow him a better shot at breaking through on the roster.

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