June 25, 2014 at 11:41 am

Lions rookie Eric Ebron, QB Matthew Stafford to practice together ahead of training camp

'He's a great leader,' Lions rookie tight end Eric Ebron, left, said of Matthew Stafford, bottom. 'This is what you want in a quarterback.' (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)

Berea, Ohio Lions first-round pick Eric Ebron and quarterback Matthew Stafford already have plans to practice together the week before training camp, the tight end said Tuesday.

Training camp opens July 28, with rookies reporting the week prior, but Stafford will be around to help Ebron.

"We've been working hard, and I plan on getting with him the week before training camp and getting things down pat," Ebron said at a Play 60 event during the NFL Rookie Symposium at Cleveland Browns headquarters.

Ebron has been with the Lions for less than two months, but the amount Stafford has been willing to help him adjust to the NFL has left a strong impression.

"He's a great leader," Ebron said. "This is what you want in a quarterback."

In organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, Ebron spent more time with the second-team offense than first team as he continued to learn the offense. But Ebron should be heavily involved with the first team in training camp because he'll likely serve as the No. 3 receiver behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate in 2014. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew and running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush will also be involved in the passing game.

In anticipation for his role, Ebron said he asked Stafford to stay after practice to work together during the offseason program, too.

"I'm like, 'Matt, hey, can you stay after with me and throw me a couple so we can get this timing down?'" Ebron said. "'For sure.' Bang, we're throwing; we're catching. Nice, nice. We're syncing up.

"It's what you want in a quarterback. I'm so blessed to have the weapons I do and receivers and a quarterback that's that good because Matthew Stafford is that good."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com
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