Jarrad Davis so far making Bob Quinn look smart for drafting him in first round

Davis works hard, has earned respect from the veterans

Can rookie Jarrad Davis live up to the hype?

At this point it would be shocking if he didn’t. He was drafted in the first round specifically to take over at middle linebacker, the position that makes the defensive calls.

It’s a big responsibility for anyone, let alone a rookie.

And yet, coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin have not hemmed and hawed about where Davis will play. Caldwell usually takes a more wait-and-see approach with first-round rookies.

It’s different with Davis.

“He’s an unusual guy because of the fact that he works extremely hard. He’s smart. He works at it. He’s dedicated and he’s still got a lot to learn,’’ Caldwell said at training camp this week. “He’s only been in this thing a matter of a few months now, but just anticipate and expect to see him to continue to grow.’’

Davis, who played at Florida, is not cocky. When he was drafted he talked about how he took it upon himself to learn the characteristics of a good leader and then developed leadership skills with the Gators.

He’s not expecting to be given anything. He’ll work hard to deserve it, thank you. It hasn’t taken long for his teammates to figure him out.

“I think he gives respect, so they give it back and I think that’s an important trait as well,’’  Caldwell said.

Pro Bowl safety Glover Quin, who has a good view of Davis in practice, has become a fan.

“I like playing with him. He’s all football. He’s very serious. He takes his job very seriously. He wants to be great. You can see it by the way he asks questions, by the way he works and the way he studies,’’ Quin said.

“He’s going to be a great addition for us. Obviously, there are a lot of things you’ve got to learn. That’s to be expected. With his size, with his speed, with his instincts, with his physicality, he’ll be able to help us in the middle. I think he’ll make a lot of plays for us. I’m excited to play alongside him, watch him grow. I’m also excited to help him in any way I can,’’ Quin added.

Davis is going to make rookie mistakes, but from watching him in training camp, all indications are that he’s a play maker and he’ll be ready to go in September. That is exactly what the Lions’ defense needs.

Matthew Stafford puts in extra work with rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay

Third-round pick expected to make the 53-man roster

Matthew Stafford and rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay are putting in overtime to find their comfort level with each other.

When Golladay was not happy with his first day of training camp he was smart enough to seek help. He asked Stafford if he could go through a few routes with him.

Mind you, it was hot and humid. The intensity level was high and it was just the first day.

One reason why Stafford is The Franchise is because he went the extra mile for the rookie.

“(He said) whenever you feel like you need something just come to me and I’ve gotcha,’’ said Golladay, the Lions third-round draft pick.

Stafford, who is entering his ninth season, had good words of advice and a way of making Golladay feel like he’s an integral part of the offense.

“It’s a great feeling, you know an older guy like that, a vet, taking me under his wing and helping me a little bit,’’ Golladay said. “What he really said to me was it’s going to come in time, just keep working on it and ‘I’ve gotcha.’’’

Golladay has made several outstanding catches in camp just like the Northern Illinois product did in the spring during OTAs and minicamp.

While there’s a battle for the wide receiver spots after Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr., he has put himself in the discussion. Don’t be surprised if he starts the season as the No. 3 guy.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he’s seen steady improvement but wants to see more before he inks Golladay’s name on the 53-man roster.

“He’s got a ways to go yet, but he’s got height (he’s 6-foot-4), he’s got ability, he’s got the drive and work ethic to try and improve each and every day so, we’re excited about where he is now but, this is a time where we’re really going to get an opportunity (to see more),’’ Caldwell said. “We can get a little bit more contact here coming up with pads on and things of that nature.”

Then, of course, the preseason games will be key. Expect Golladay to get plenty of reps while Tate and Jones get plenty of bench time.

Golladay loves the competition in camp.

“I’m just trying to get better every day. That’s all that’s really on my mind, every day getting better and perfecting my craft. Coming to work each and every day trying to learn something new I didn’t know the other day,’’ the 23-year-old Golladay said.

“I’m still a kid at heart, still a kid really, period. Coming out every day is fun, playing football.’’

He said he’s gotten camp advice from many veterans. They mostly sing the same tune.

“Really that it’s just a grind and get as much sleep as possible,’’ Golladay said.

 

Packers fans still blue over seeing T.J. Lang in a Lions uniform

Lang will start at right guard on a revamped offensive line

No surprise that Green Bay Packer fans were not happy to see T.J. Lang wearing Honolulu blue and silver. After all, they’re not used to losing free agents to Detroit.

Even though it’s been months since Lang signed with the Lions as a free agent, the wounds of Packer fans remain raw. After all he was an offensive line fixture for the past eight seasons in Green Bay.

Lang, who will start at right guard for Detroit, had not practiced with the Lions until Sunday because he was coming off hip surgery. He took all the reps at right guard although he said it’s a possibility he may take it easy occasionally in training camp.

More bad news for Packers’ fans — Lang feels great.

He took the podium after the first day of training camp with his son, J.J. to answer questions from the media. Like most offensive linemen he’d rather play the game than talk about it. But he was cordial and had support from J.J. who was more fascinated with his wristband than the Detroit media contingent.

It was my best photo of the day, so I Tweeted it out. Packer backers weren’t quite as enthralled as Lions’ fans.

One little photo caused an avalanche of response on Twitter:

— @Empeypp: His son is adorable, which is why I feel so bad he was to watch his dad play on a 6-10 team.

— @Confuzled: Poor little kid

— @SuperCral: If he’s got another son named Derek, I’m calling shenanigans.

— @Wiscoinferno: That jersey looks no bueno on TJ tbh

— @PackerFans_: Lang breaking the news to Lions fans that he won’t be able to get them into the playoffs on his own.

— @AlecYanke: This is just wrong

— @BrewCrewCritic: Unfortunately, this will probably be a theme for the entire season. Posted with an old meme from ‘The Lion King’ with the words: “Dad, What’s a Super Bowl? I don’t know son, we’re Lions.”

— @Cletoreyes915: This image makes me sick. Then again I think I had to much hot sauce this morning.

And a few fine Packers’ fans — definitely a minority — hold no ill will.

— Taina Dejesus: I wish him the best I love tj

— Mattthommesen: Will miss you T.J. Lang please don’t hate packer nation. We loved you.

Lang grew up in the Detroit area and always dreamed of playing for the Lions.

“I think every kid dreams of playing for their hometown team, now it’s a reality for me,’’ Lang said. “At the end of the day that washes away pretty quick, get your mind back on football.’’

Only 98 days until the NFC North rivalry continues. On Nov. 6, a Monday night game at Green Bay, the division rivals will meet for the first time this season.