Lions rookie Kenny Golladay earns time with starters after first game

Third-round pick continues to show he belongs

ALLEN PARK >> Kenny Golladay’s  solid showing in his first preseason game, Sunday’s win at Indianapolis, has bumped him up on the depth chart.

At Wednesday’s practice the rookie wide receiver was lined up with starters Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. At the game, TJ Jones started with the two veterans.

Coach Jim Caldwell, always cautious to praise rookies too much, explained the move.

“He’s one of those guys that we’re just trying to make certain that we give him a bit of experience in a little bit of everything to kind of see where he fits,’’ Caldwell said.

“We have an idea, but you really don’t know until you give him a chance to really delve into one spot or the other. So, we’re trying to cross-train him a little bit, but he has the speed and has the length and those kinds of things you look for, for good matchups on the outside,’’ the coach added.

He’d like all wide receivers to be able to play at every spot. With some of them that is just not possible.

“Often times you may find a guy that only fits a particular role, but the more flexible you are, the better. And particularly in our system, because we line up guys in all different types of spots,’’ Caldwell explained. “Even in their normal position you still have to line up in various positions, so you have to know all of the route combinations and those kinds of things.

“But, we’d love to be able to move guys around, it makes them a little bit tougher to double cover. Makes them a little bit tougher to plan on in terms of where they’re going to be. Gives us a lot more flexibility that way,’’ Caldwell added.

Golladay, the third-round draft pick out of Northern Illinois, has earned “darling of the week” status around the NFL.

Against the Colts, he had three receptions for 53 yards.  Two of them were for touchdowns — both from Jake Rudock.

He’s a lock to make the Lions’ 53-man roster behind Tate and Marvin Jones. Others in the conversation for the competition for the other one or two wide receiver spots are TJ Jones, Jared Abbrederis, Jace Billingsley and Keshawn Martin.

Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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