Lions rookies reflect 'Detroit vs. Everybody' spirit

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions rookie offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's top male athlete.

Berea, Ohio — The Lions made a bit of a fashion statement when they arrived in the Cleveland area for the NFL Rookie Symposium Wednesday.

The team's seven draft picks rode down from Detroit wearing shirts that said "Detroit vs. Everybody," a brand that's recently grown in popularity.

Lions cornerback Alex Carter, a third-round pick, said he noticed other players checking out the uniform shirts.

"That was kind of our motto coming in," Carter said during a Play 60 event at Browns headquarters Friday. "Now they know."

Galen Duncan, the Lions' senior director of player development, ordered the shirts for the rookie class and joined the group for the symposium. Duncan said he knew "Detroit vs. Everybody founder Tommey Walker — and he first saw Louis Delmas wearing the shirt years ago —and felt the company's ideology was in line with what the Lions are trying to accomplish.

"'Detroit vs. Everybody' talks about their unapologetic pride about our city, about our youth wanting and needing something to grasp onto to motivate them to be positive," Duncan said. "Everybody kind of dumps on us, man. We've kind of always been the place that everybody dumped on, and the Lions felt that way for a while, too. But the new (Lions) regime has taken on the mantra that, 'Hey, we're going to go out here; we're going to face everybody.'"

Duncan noted that Lions coach Jim Caldwell regularly says that his team will be prepared to face any team anywhere, even in a parking lot. Even though it's a small gesture in June, the rookies appear to be buying into that philosophy.

"It just shows our mentality toward everything that we believe in right now — the kids from Detroit, the fans of Detroit and everything that the city has been through," first-round pick Laken Tomlinson said. "And right now, the city is on the come up, and right now we see ourselves as battling against everything to make the city a fantastic city, one of the best in the nation. So, really, it's pretty much Detroit vs. everybody."