On Wednesday, for the first time since he was demoted to second string, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley met with the media. He acknowledged that he has gained around seven pounds since the start of training camp, and he admitted that he needed to get his eating habits back under control.
Nick Fairley said he weighs 315 pounds right now and his ideal weight is 305. Said his eating habits "got out of control." #Lions
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) August 20, 2014
Fairley also talked about his mindset now that he's been practicing with the second-team defense for a couple weeks. He said the demotion was a wake-up call, and his plan is to be one of the Lions' starting defensive tackles when the regular season begins. From The Detroit News:
"My plans? Yes," he said, adding he has to "continue to bust my butt" to leapfrog Mosley.
Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin praised Fairley for what he has done since his demotion, and fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made a pretty surprising comment about Fairley on Wednesday:
Suh on Fairley: "Nick is more athletically gifted than me and he has an opportunity to be better than me." Suh's best sign of leadership.
— Carlos Monarrez (@cmonarrez) August 20, 2014
That might be a stretch, but Fairley does have a lot of potential, and that's why the Lions have been trying to motivate him so much this year. They want him to finally realize his potential and combine with Suh to form one of the NFL's most dominant defensive tackle tandems. For now, C.J. Mosley is the other defensive tackle in the Lions' tandem, but if Fairley can get everything back on track in the next couple weeks, he could very well open the season as a starter.