Follow @LBeasley313Wide receiver Ryan Broyles didn’t see much playing time in Detroit Lions preseason win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, seeing that he didn’t get involved in the offense until the fourth quarter. However, once on the field, he once again showed that he can provide a major impact, as he caught three catches for 44 yards. Now I know those stats, may not seem impressive but it doesn’t change the fact that Broyles possesses exceptional hands, who has the polish and quickness needed to separate from defenders and make plays after the catch and he has shown those great abilities during the Lions preseason play so far.
I don’t know about you but I’m honestly not surprise by the impact of Broyles. Some may have forgotten but coming out of Oklahoma, Broyles was already a talented receiver, finishing his career at Oklahoma with 3,429 career receiving yards and 35 career touchdowns. If that’s not enough, he also broke the all-time FBS career reception record (previously held by Taylor Stubblefield of Purdue) and he still currently holds the NCAA FBS career receptions record with 349.
The thing that has hurt Broyles’ production during his time with the Lions, is his injury issues. During his senior-year at Oklahoma, he tore the ACL in his left knee. Then after being drafted by the Lions in the second round with 54th overall in 2012 NFL Draft, Broyles would tear his right ACL, ending his rookie season. Then after spending months in the training room rehabbing his knee, he would rupture his achilles on a punt return, putting an end to sophomore season for the year 2013.
Nevertheless, Broyles never loss faith, as he continued to work hard and get back on the field and now that he is on the field, he is proving to the team’s new coaching staff he can be reliable piece and play-maker going forward.
“I think so, I think you can see that he feels good about where he is physically.” Coach Caldwell speaking on if Broyles has progressed since his injuries. ” I think you can see the results. He’s got his explosion. I don’t exactly know what he looked like up close and personal before his injuries, but since the spring you can see that he has spring in his step. He has an unusual knack of being able to split two defenders with speed and power. His hands are reliable. So, you know he’s doing a nice job.”
I must agree with head coach Jim Caldwell, when he says that Broyles is doing a nice job, in fact, I think he is doing better than a nice job. When on the field, he is constantly putting himself in a position to succeed, catching anything and everything thrown his way. Then if that’s not enough, he is constantly creating yards after the catch. If you look at his pre-season stats you will see that although he hasn’t score a touchdown, he has garnered eight catches for 113 yards. While those stats may not seem impressive, keep in mind that Broyles has continued to do a great job of catching the ball on a consistent basis but more importantly, he has done a good job of creating yards after the catch, helping the Lions to gain multiple first downs in every pre-season game, which is something the Lions have lacked in the past.
“Number one, it tells you that the quarterbacks like him.” Coach Caldwell speaking on Broyles’ ability to get yards after the catch. “They can depend on him in that situation and he delivers, but also shows you that he has a real knack for it because he had to operate against several different coverages. So he’s got a good sense of where he is and how to get open. And then has, certainly, the surge and determination to get first downs.”
I don’t know about you but I am very happy for Broyles, Despite his continuous injuries, he has never loss faith and it shows in the way he plays. Coming into the 2014 season, a roster spot was anything but guaranteed and although, he has spent much of his time with the second set of receivers, he hasn’t let that stop him from having a great preseason, making it hard for the coaches to leave him off the roster.
“One thing of note about him is – every ball that he’s caught he’s got a first down. He’s been active, he’s played well and played tough. So, we’ve been pleased with him. But, you know it’s a tough battle out there at that spot. There are a lot of guys doing well. We don’t have easy decisions at that spot.”
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
In other news the Detroit Lions announced on Saturday that they have placed wide receiver TJ Jones on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. The Lions also announced they released the following players; guard Alex Bullard, guard A.J. Dalton, defensive tackle Greg Hickman, running back Steven Miller, defensive end Kris Redding and wide receiver Conner Vernon.