ALLEN PARK >> It’s a big step for NFL wide receivers when they take the step from their rookie year to year 2.
Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who had 28 receptions for 477 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie, is in that position now.
“The coaches have high expectations, I have high expectations. I just want to open these coaches’ eyes,’’ Golladay said on Saturday. “I want to let them know I’m here to work hard each and every day. I want to make plays for this team.
A third-round pick in 2017, he played well enough last year to have earned confidence from Matthew Stafford and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
He can take a big leap this year to join top receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones who each had 1,000 receiving yards last season.
It’s been done before.
In 1992, Lions wide receiver Herman Moore took a gigantic leap in his second year. The 1991 first-round pick was a disappointment as a rookie with just 11 catches for 135 yards and no touchdowns. He came back the second year with 51 receptions for 966 yards and four touchdowns. He just kept improving and still stands as the Lions’ second-best receiver of all-time.
Not to compare the 6-foot-4 receivers too much, but certainly it shows there is a chance for Golladay to dominate.
Five thoughts from Golladay after the second day of training camp on Saturday:
1. He’s playing at about the same weight as a year ago but says he is stronger. “As of right now how I’m different from last year is I want to come out here every day and make plays, of course I wanted to do that last year,’’ Golladay said. “Right now I have to dominate every day and that’s something I’m looking forward to.’’
2. While he won’t share his personal goals for this season, but talks about the big picture. “As far as training camp, I’m trying to come out here each and every day and get better. That’s about it,’’ Golladay said. “Just work on the little things — routes, catching the ball, running after the catch, tucking the ball away. That’s about it.’’
3. While he’s taller than his teammate Marvin Jones, he certainly can learn from the veteran receiver. “When we’re in the meeting room I ask questions here and there, I sit right in front of (Jones) and I can lean back easily and ask him anything. I watch him as well,’’ Golladay said. “It’s great to have someone on the team — of course I’m taller than him — but he plays as if he’s my height with his jumping ability. He’s still lanky.”
4. He’s made a few nice catches in the first few days and said he feels good. “Tomorrow we get the pads on. A lot of people are excited right now and everyone should be. It’s fun to get back out there and start football back up,’’ Golladay said.
5. While he was just getting acclimated to the NFL as a rookie, this year he can focus solely on football. “I’m a year older, I’m more familiar with the offense each and every day, I’m trying to learn every position on the field as far as the receiver standpoint goes,’’ Golladay said.