T.J. Hockenson Begs Lions’ Offense to Follow Simple Step for Turnaround

T.J. Hockenson

Getty T.J. Hockenson makes a catch for the Lions against the Eagles in 2021.

The Detroit Lions are struggling to sustain anything on the offensive side of the ball this season, and it’s been a big reason for their problems winning a game this year.

Detroit’s offense simply hasn’t executed consistently in order to help out a defense which has held the team in games. That’s a problem the coaching staff as well as most of the players realize. Tight end T.J. Hockenson has been one of the team’s best weapons and even he realizes that.

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Speaking to the media on Monday, November 29 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Hockenson was asked about what he wants to see the team’s offense do better down the stretch. As he said, it’s the simple things that the Lions have to clean up to get better, and small details that he believes should not be plaguing the team.

“Just some routine details that we need to hone in on. I think in the last however many weeks there are, there’s still those things that kind of creep their way up on the tape and I don’t think that’s something that we should be doing in Week 13 now that we’re in the season,” Hockenson told the media. “I think it’s one of those things we got to hone in ourselves and we got to know the playbook. That kind of comes across on each guy and how we’re perceiving it. We look at the playbook and see what’s drawn up there and some of the routes we have, some guys think of them differently than others and some guys have to get on the same page.”

As Hockenson points out, the Lions shouldn’t be making those kind of mistakes regularly now that the season is more than halfway over. It points to some sloppiness and some attention to detail that the team has to fight to clean up to have any shot at a win the rest of the way. With this in mind, it’s probably no mystery why the team is struggling to put up points this season.

Dan Campbell’s New Offense Could Provide Challenge

Perhaps there’s a reason for all the problems, though. A big shift to the offense has come in the form of head coach Dan Campbell starting to call plays. Campbell took over from Anthony Lynn in Week 10 and produced decent results in a 16-16 tie with Pittsburgh. Even though that was the case, the Lions still haven’t gone over 20 points with Campbell calling the plays, and one has to wonder whether or not the team is struggling to pick up his terminologies and learn what could be a slightly new offensive plan on the fly in the middle of a season.

If the Lions stick with Campbell’s offense, the team will have to find a way to adapt and overcome the rest of the way and continue learning on the fly. That’s just what Hockenson wants to see them work to improve down the stretch run.

Hockenson’s Career Stats & Highlights

There is simply no understating the importance of Hockenson to the Lions in the future moving forward in 2021 and beyond. The team hasn’t gotten much of anything from any of the other tight ends on their roster the last few years, and while he hasn’t had the most dramatic statistical impact thus far in his career, Hockenson has easily been one of the team’s top rookies in 2019 and 2020 and a player capable of impacting both the run and the passing games.

During his rookie season in 2019, many fans were upset with Hockenson for not making a bigger impact on the game. He had only 367 yards and 2 touchdowns on the year which is not the statistical impact that many people expected from him as a top selection for the team. 2020 was a major bounce back from that, though, and Hockenson put up 723 yards and 6 touchdowns to rebound well. This season, Hockenson has 534 yards and 3 touchdowns to his credit and at times has been the only top pass catcher for the team.

Here’s a look at some of Hockenson’s biggest career plays from last season:

TJ Hockenson FULL 2020 Season Highlights2021-01-22T18:40:58Z

Clearly, Hockenson is on the right track to being thought of as one of the best players in the league at his position. His work on the field has done nothing to disprove that whatsoever thus far in 2021, nor has his leadership.

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