Lions training camp: When done playing, CB Teez Tabor wants to coach

He loves playing for ‘Matty P’

ALLEN PARK >> Teez Tabor soaks it all in.

The second-year Detroit Lions cornerback is in competition for the opening at cornerback opposite Darius Slay. It’s intense with Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Jamal Agnew and DeShawn Shead also in the mix.

“There’s a lot of extreme competition but that only makes the team better, it makes our room better,’’ Tabor said on Sunday, the third day of camp.

Also, in the back of his mind he’s thinking about a future as a football coach.

“I just love the game of football. Obviously you can’t play forever, I wish I could,’’ Tabor said on Sunday.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

First things first, he’s got work to do on the field at training camp. He’s feeling more comfortable in his second training camp.

Sunday was the first day in pads which featured a live session toward the end of the two-hour session.

“(Physicality) is one of coach’s biggest things. He wants us to be a tough football team. It’s just the game of football, usually the tougher team wins,’’ Tabor said.

The cornerback said the team was physical last year too it’s just that Patricia “emphasizes it a lot.”

Tabor, who is on the tall side for a corner at 6-foot, regularly goes up against 6-foot-4 wide receiver Kenny Golladay during camp drills.

“I love going against Kenny, him and Marv (Jones) are big guys, strong guys too and can high-point the football. Definitely some good work going up against those type of  guys being real physical,’’ Jones said.

Shead, a 6-foot-2 veteran who was signed as a free agent, has been helping Tabor develop.

“I learn a lot, we talk on a daily basis just about stuff we see out there on the field,’’ Tabor said. “We pitch things back and forth. I’ve learned a lot from him. He comes from a system where bigger corners are favored. And I’ve been taking little bits and pieces from his game.’’

Tabor speaks highly of Patricia or as he calls him Matty P.

Patricia, who is running his first camp as a head coach, is all over the field during each session.

“I’m pretty sure coach is involved in everything. I love it because one day I want to be a head coach. I kind of, everywhere I’ve been I’ve taken things from a lot of people,’’ Tabor said. “If I could be like one guy I’d want to be like him just because he’s not like (having) assistant coaches do the job. He demands what he wants and I feel like all great coaches have that quality, they’re going to demand greatness, demand everything they want and they get it.’’

Tabor has given much thought to his future.

“I want to be around the game of football. I’ve learned from a lot of people. I watch how (Patricia) runs his meetings, how he interacts with his players, how he cares about his players. He definitely cares about his players. Just everything, watching and learning,’’ Tabor said.

Tabor doesn’t keep a notebook but takes mental notes of what he can learn from Patricia and other coaches. He also likes how Patricia runs meetings. Same for Jim Caldwell who was fired in January.

“How (Caldwell) ran his meetings, it wasn’t always about football. It was about us being better men,’’ Tabor said. “He would give us stories from ancient times to two days ago, it was like you actually learned, he was real cool in his team meetings.’’

Tabor has much on his plate at the moment. Not only competing for a starting role, but also earning a spot on the 53-man roster. Like all of the Lions, he won’t talk about last year but he did improve as the season wore on. He played in 10 games, starting one.

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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 Amazon.com. 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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