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He finished a run to the end
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Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia walked briskly onto a field for his first NFL training camp in charge with a black cap Lars Eller Jersey , black pullover and black shorts while a yellow pencil was nestled over his right ear. And, he didn't waste any time sending messages on Friday.
Patricia pulled aside safety Tavon Wilson, one of many former New England Patriots now in the Motor City, to say a few words early in practice.
Wilson, knowing Patricia expects everyone to always hustle, listened to what Patricia had to say and then sprinted to rejoin his teammates on another field.
After speaking briefly with team president Rod Wood, the new coach tried to connect with as many players as possible as they stretched out and warmed up. He chatted with some, slapped hands with others and simply tapped helmets as he roamed with a bounce in his step and a smile on his face.
During drills, Patricia spent time with many of the position groups to evaluate quietly or teach with words and gestures.
While Patricia tried to sound businesslike in his news conference before practice, it was clear how fired up he was even before his white sneakers hit the green grass.
"When you walk out on the field again, the painted lines, the fresh cut grass Reggie Wayne Jersey , all of that sort of atmosphere around it, it's exciting," he said. "If you have been in this game a long time, it takes you back years to when whether you were playing or first started coaching or even just a little kid running around."
The Lions have been around .500 in recent years, winning nine games in each of the past two years after averaging nine wins over the previous two seasons.
That was not enough for Jim Caldwell to keep his job with the franchise for a fifth season.
The Lions fired Caldwell and hired Patricia shortly after last season, hoping some of what he learned as one of Bill Belichick's top assistants will rub off on a team with one playoff victory in 60-plus years.
Even though Detroit made only subtle roster changes , linebacker Jarrad Davis said the major move made on the sideline may make an impact.
"It can be a huge difference," Davis said. "The way he came in, honestly, just set the tone right away. You know, he came in, he laid down the law. He gave us the rules and he came in with energy. ... He came in Nikita Kucherov Jersey , made it clear, gave us the expectations. And now we have something we can chase."
Davis declined to say what the Lions are chasing, and Patricia has insisted he is only interested in talking about small-picture goals such as making the most out of each day.
Even though Patricia has not ever led an NFL team, a veteran coach who gave him a pivotal opportunity many years ago believes he is ready.
Detroit defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who hired Patricia as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 2001, said he knew he would be working for a high-energy, bright coach when he accepted the offer. What he didn't know was how detail-oriented Patricia would be as a head coach.
Patricia has a detailed planned for everything, Pasqualoni said, including the team's hydration and nutrition plan.
"Until you work with him there's no way of knowing that," Pasqualoni said.
NOTES: The Lions put LB Devon Kennard and DE Cornelius Washington on the non-football injury list. ... DE Ezekiel Ansah is on the physically unable to perform list.
Doug Martin was in need of a new start after two straight subpar seasons led to his offseason release by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Getting the chance to do it near his boyhood home in Northern California, with an Oakland team featuring a strong offensive line and a coach in Jon Gruden eager to establish a powerful running attack, only made the decision to join the Raiders even easier.
Now Martin wants to prove he can get back to the form that made him a Pro Bowler twice in his first four seasons.
"My approach is just basically I'm a rookie again Jake Guentzel Jersey Kids ," Martin said. "I have to prove to the team and the players, coaches that I can be useful on this team. Like I said, I just act like a rookie and go out and play. Play the game that I love."
Martin has had a roller-coaster career since entering the league with Tampa Bay as a first-round pick out of Boise State in 2012. He is the only player currently on an NFL roster with two seasons of at least 1,400 yards rushing, reaching that mark as a rookie with the Bucs and then again three years later in Tampa Bay.
But he has failed to reach 500 yards rushing in his other four seasons in the NFL and is also the only active player with two seasons averaging fewer than 3 yards per carry with at least 100 attempts, doing that the past two years when he was hampered by injuries and a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Martin also was suspended one game last year by the Bucs for a violation of team rules, all contributing to the decision by Tampa Bay to cut him this offseason.
"The past couple of years I just got in my own way," he said. "Being here and having my family around and old friends, it's definitely going to help me stay busy. I can always confide in them if I need something to talk about."
Martin, who grew up in nearby Stockton, fondly remembers his only other trip to the Bay Area as a professional when he ran for 251 yards on 25 carries in Oakland as a rookie in 2012 with about 50 friends and family members in the crowd.
Martin also said the opportunity to run Bay Area hills near his grandfather's house has helped get him in top condition that he hopes will benefit him once the season begins.
That work has shown up on the field.
"He finished a run to the end zone today and didn't stop until he got there and then he ran back to make sure he's getting even more in shape," quarterback Derek Carr said. "It's little things like that that show young guys Womens Eli Manning Jersey , 'Hey man, that's how you do it.' That's been since Day 1. He's been one of the hardest workers since we got here in Phase 1, hands down. He's been one of the guys out there that just every day sticks out doing something where you see why he's a Pro Bowler."
The Raiders are hoping Martin will fit in well in a backfield led by Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 524 yards and five TDs in his final eight games last season, ranking tied for third in that span in yards rushing per game.
Oakland didn't get much consistent help from backups Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington a year ago, leading to the move to add Martin to the mix.
"Doug has really jumped out in this camp," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. "His quickness, his ability to pick up the offense and what we've given him. That's been very encouraging. He really has a fresh set of legs and that's probably been the most encouraging. When you watch him run out here in the drills that we've run and the strength and conditioning staff and the things that we've been doing there, it just looks like he's got a real fresh set of legs."
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