As we’ve mentioned a couple of times in our Detroit Lions training camp preview series, 2021 could be a make-or-break season for Da’Shawn Hand. The 2018 fourth-round pick exploded onto the scene during his rookie season, but his play has been marred by injuries and inconsistent play since. Now on the final year of his contract—and with two young defensive tackles drafted in this year’s draft—Hand needs to make an impact, and make it now.
One person who could possibly help him on that journey is defensive tackle Michael Brockers, who the team traded for to give Detroit’s defensive line a veteran presence. Brockers is as consistent as they come, and he knows exactly what the coaches will expect of him in this Rams-inspired front line of attack.
Even though we haven’t hit training camp yet, Hand is already using Brockers as an asset this offseason. On Brockers’ Instagram page, he shared of video of himself and Hand working out in Texas with renowned defensive line specialist Brandon Jordan:
Back during OTAs, Brockers talked to the media about his leadership role as the team’s veteran. He admitted he was more of a hands-off type of leader, but wasn’t afraid to give feedback when asked.
“I don’t want to just claim that I’m a captain or anything like that, but wherever I can put my little two cents in, give a little knowledge here or there, I’ll do it,” Brockers said.
Online several Lions players chimed in to hype the duo up.
“Them boys working I can’t wait to catch them picks behind y’all,” safety Tracy Walker said in an Instagram comment.
“It’s spooky this year,” fellow defensive lineman Nick Williams replied in an Instagram story.
“It’s bout that time now,” Hand sent to Brockers.
Brockers should be a big influence on Hand this year given both his experience in the league and his knowledge of the system, but he could also be a great resource for Hand when it comes to taking care of his body. While Hand has missed 22 games in his first three seasons in the league, Brockers has missed a total of just six games in nine years.
With training camp just around the corner, Hand will have the opportunity to prove he’s still got something to give to this team and recapture the magic from his rookie year. At 25 years old, he could still have a lot of good football ahead of him.