Although he was celebrating just his 25th birthday on Thursday, DeShon Elliott is looking forward to a fresh start as a safety for the Lions.
After spending four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, he thinks the Lions are a good fit.
“On my visit last week being around the coaches I really feel they love and care about each one of their players and they want to be great,’’ Elliott said on Thursday.
His first inkling about coach Dan Campbell and his staff came when the Ravens beat the Lions 19-17 at Ford Field last season in Week 3.
“It was a slobber-knocker, but they played so hard and I could just tell from that game how much they loved their coach by the way they played. You can always tell that,’’ Elliott said. “They really bought in and loved the experience they have in the building. That was one thing on the outside looking in.’’
His 2021 season ended with biceps and pectoral injuries sustained in a Nov. 8 game. His rookie season in 2018 was spent on injured reserve with a broken arm. He played just six games in 2029 due to a knee injury. But started all 16 in the 2020 season.
Obviously staying healthy is key for Elliott, a sixth-round pick in 2018, who signed a one-year deal with the Lions on April 14.
Before he signed he talked with Quandre Diggs, a former Lion who was shipped out of town by Matt Patricia. Elliott said Diggs is like a big brother to him and told him the Lions’ style of football – gritty and hard-nosed – matches the character of the city.
“That reminds me a lot of Baltimore so that’s another reason I came here, I wanted to go somewhere that matched my game,’’ Elliott said.
He also knows Tracy Walker – they were in the same draft class – and admires his game.
Elliott said in his talks with Lions coaches, he felt what mattered the most is the kind of person he is.
“They wanted to build a certain type of character into the locker room. I think I bring all the right traits,’’ Elliott said. “I’ll be myself at the end of the day. No matter what, I’m not going to be somebody I’m not.’’
He describes himself as aggressive, one who puts it all on the line.
“I’m here to win, that’s it, that’s all I care about,’’ Elliott said.