Five things to know about Detroit Lions TE Luke Willson

His role hasn’t been defined yet

ALLEN PARK >> Luke Willson apologized for sweating when he took the podium on Tuesday.

The Lions tight end said he didn’t usually sweat that much so apparently he’s working out hard in his first offseason in Detroit.

Willson, who signed with the Lions as a free agent, seemed totally comfortable talking to the media. He even asked for softball questions when he hopped up to the podium.

“I’m a local guy take it easy on me,’’ Willson asked, half-joking.

Five things to know:

1. He grew up in LaSalle, Ontario, (minutes from the Ambassador Bridge) and was a big Lions fan especially during the Barry Sanders and Herman Moore days. “Fun fact, David Sloan was my tight ends coach in college so we had a full-circle thing. Johnnie Morton’s brother, Chad, was out in Seattle … I liked the Lions growing up with that being said I think it’s important for me to establish the divide yeah i was a fan of the team but I’m here to do a job,’’ Willson said. Sloan was a tight end with the Lions from 1995 to 2001.

2. In his five seasons in Seattle, Willson had 89 catches for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s uncertain what his role will be with the Lions. “At this part of the offseason, phase 2, it’s too early to talk about roles. I’m here to do whatever the coaches ask me, right now with CBA rules, personally it’s about getting better each day,’’ Willson said. “A lot of individual stuff, showing the coaches what I can do and from there they’ll decide what role I’ll be playing this year.’’

3. Willson spent the last three seasons in the same tight ends room with Jimmy Graham in Seattle. With the Lions, there is not one big name guy who is a tight end on the roster. “I’d say we’re learning together. At the same time, it’s been a lot of fun in that sense where everything is new to a lot of us. Mike Rob (Roberts) has been here longest for a year. Hakeem (Valles) has been here for last year. Even for me as a veteran guy bouncing stuff off Hakeem, but it’s been fun in the sense I can tell them some stuff as far as being a little bit older and they can help me out. It’s been great, I think we all get along pretty well,’’ Willson said.

4. Willson responded, “Absolutely not” when asked if the Matt Patricia controversy that arose last week will hang over the team this season. “He spoke to the team at the team meeting what happened at the team meeting stays in there. We all support him. It’s back to football for us. We’re pretty focused right now,’’ Willson said. “To be honest I kept an open mind, I believe in Coach Patricia and listened to what he said.’’

5. Here’s what he wants fans to know about him: “You know I want, I kind of grew up in the blue collar area that this is, Windsor is an automotive city as well. My parents weren’t in the automotive industry but good friends and family are,’’ Willson said. “I think I bring a part of that to my personality and a part of that to my game playing — a little grimy here and there, a little blue collar we’ll see how it goes.’’


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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