Teez Tabor may be on the last leg with the Detroit Lions. The 2017 second-round pick hasn’t made even a blip of an impact on the field in his first two seasons, and considering the Lions signed two cornerbacks this offseason and drafted another, the competition is stiff and his work is cut out for him.
But five days into Organized Team Activities, Tabor is starting to turn heads. With Darius Slay absent at OTAs, Tabor has been getting plenty of work with the first-team defense.
“There’s more reps out here, so that’s better for some guys who need reps like myself,” Tabor said after Thursday’s practice. “I need these reps. I need these reps, because I need to get a lot better. So I’ll take all the reps I can get.”
Tabor made a good impression with fans this offseason by taking a strong approach to the offseason. He spent a good chunk of the offseason at Brandon Marshall’s gym, working alongside talented NFL players like Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson.
And so far, it looks like that extra work may have paid off. Tabor pulled down at least two interceptions in the first week of OTAs and had another impressive pass breakup on Danny Amendola during Thursday’s practice.
But Tabor knows plays in May don’t mean much.
“It’s still early, only OTAs. Like I said, I haven’t made a play in this league yet, so I’m just trying to get better with these reps I’m getting,” Tabor said.
That being said, there is one thing he does feel like he’s improved on since last year.
“Became more coachable,” Tabor said. “That’s the one I can say, I just sat back and took it all in last year and was like, ‘I’ve got to become more coachable.’ Just listening to what (defensive backs) coach (Brian Stewart), coach (Steve) Gregory, coach Matty P, coach P got to say. They all know exactly what they’re talking about. I’m a student, they’re the teacher. I’ve got to learn from them. So I just been trying to become more coachable. I’ve been sitting down taking in all of the information that they’ve been giving me.”
That’s certainly sounds like real growth and maturity from Tabor, but as he said, the real improvement needs to come on the field. He’ll have to prove on Sundays that the physical part of his game has improved, too. For now, his mind certainly seems in the right place and the on-field product looks improved, too.