DETROIT — At first the Lions fans at Ford Field weren’t sure what to think about Kenny Golladay.
They’d heard the hype about the rookie wide receiver, but he didn’t catch the first few balls thrown his way,
He is a rookie after all.
But by the end of Sunday’s game — a 35-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals — Golladay had won over the hearts of Detroit.
Two touchdown catches in the fourth quarter. The first one for 10 yards gave the Lions their first lead in the game 21-17. It also gave Golladay the confidence he needed in his first NFL game.
“I felt like I needed to make a play and I was just happy enough. Matt (Stafford) threw a great ball, I just had to go get it and, you know, the rest is history,’’ Golladay said.
Then on the next Detroit series, Golladay was Matthew Stafford’s deep target and came up with a 45-yard touchdown catch.
“Really, once again, Matt just gave me a shot and just let my skills just do the rest pretty much. Just left my feet, used all hands and just made a nice catch,’’ Golladay said.
“He’s developing, he’s a rookie. Did he do everything right today? No. but did he make some big-time catches absolutely,’’ Stafford said.
While some fans have been calling Golladay the next Calvin Johnson – that is jumping the gun.
He’s 6-foot-4, works hard and makes for a good red-zone target.
However the coaching staff has not dumped too much praise on him. No need to create extra pressure.
“The proof is in the pudding. In this league, this is a tough league. Often times I just think people when they look at what these guys accomplish, and it may be one game, but one game doesn’t mean a whole lot,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said. “Let’s look at it over a period of time. But do we expect him to be a good player? Yes. We do expect him to be. But he’s got to go out there and prove it. And this is one game where he had a decent finish with the big catch at the end, a couple big plays for us. But let’s see what happens next game. Yeah, but he’s off to a good start I think.”