Lions rookies immersed in team's history

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions rookies received a history lesson about their new team on Tuesday morning.

And in attempt to keep the new players excited, it seems the lesson was significantly abbreviated.

“It was just the history, and obviously, around here, it’s going to be positive things,” first-round pick Taylor Decker said on Tuesday afternoon.

Many NFL teams have someone give rookies a history lesson after the draft, and with the league canceling the rookie symposium this year, Lions rookie will be learning plenty more about the franchise and Detroit from Dr. Galen Duncan, the team's senior director of player development.

Obviously, the Lions haven’t experienced much success as a franchise. Since winning the NFL championship in 1957, the Lions have just one playoff win, which came in 1991. The team has never made it to the Super Bowl.

Sure, there are some highlights like the careers of Barry Sanders, Doak Walker and Lem Barney. But then there are the sad tales of the disappointing Scott Mitchell trade and Ndamukong Suh leaving in free agency.

Lions' 2nd-round pick A'Shawn Robinson signs

Lions second-round pick A’Shawn Robinson said Bill Keenist, the team’s senior vice president of communications, led the seminar on Tuesday morning.

Robinson knew some details about the franchise, like the team’s lack of postseason success, because his roommate at Alabama, Chris Posa, is a Lions fan from Commerce (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) and “enlightened” him. Robinson, though, didn’t know the Lions got their start in Portsmouth, Ohio, among other things.

“I thought it was really cool,” Robinson said.

The lesson covered some of the other franchise history, including why the team plays on Thanksgiving.

“It was just a basic history of the Lions just, so guys who maybe have been on the West Coast or farther down south who have been around different NFL organizations would just have kind of a better understanding of how the organization started and everything like that,” Decker said.

Decker and Robinson also said they’re excited to play in front of Detroit’s passionate fan base, one that sticks with the Lions through all the disappointment.

“The fans have so much passion for the Detroit Lions, as well as the players do,” Robinson said. “Just going out there and knowing you have their support and their love and how much they love the Detroit Lions and everything, it’s amazing.”

Twitter: @jkatzenstein