Lions rookies get out notebooks again

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Jake Rudock

Allen Park — The Lions have reached the point of the offseason program they call “football school,” and based on what two rookies said Thursday, that’s a perfect description.

“It’s like school,” said center Graham Glasgow, a third-rounder. “They teach you what to do, and then you go out there and do it. The stuff we do on the field is sort of like workbook stuff. It’s like the teacher teaches you how to do long division, and then you go out there and do it.”

During Phase 2 of the offseason program, players work with their position coaches in the classroom and on the field. For rookies, this version of school also includes a chance to learn from veterans.

“It’s a lot more fun than you would expect because the coaches provide this environment where it’s easy to learn,” said safety Miles Killebrew, a fourth-rounder learning both safety spots and inside and outside cornerback.

“You have a lot of accessible things that we can take advantage of such as each other, first of all. The environment that they have here set up is really encouraging to learn with each other, and then there’s countless other tools that they’ve given us, so it’s great.”

Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, a second-rounder, said Tuesday it’s “amazing” to learn from Haloti Ngata and other veterans at his position, and even if the rookies are here to eventually replace some players, the older guys are almost always helpful.

For Killebrew, the biggest surprise has been the large number of plays he has to learn.

“Everyone knows their stuff, and everyone’s talking,” Killebrew said. “And that is probably the biggest difference from where I come from to here, is not only does everyone know their stuff and they’re talking, but it’s fast. It’s now. You have to know your stuff now.”

Teammates again

One day after the Lions drafted Glasgow, they selected Jake Rudock, reuniting the Michigan center and quarterback, respectively.

Glasgow didn’t believe Rudock’s text that afternoon.

“I wasn’t watching the draft,” Glasgow said. “He texted me, and I didn’t believe him. So I had to go check online, just see a draft thing and I was like, ‘Wow, it actually did happen.’

“I was excited. It kind of takes one more variable out of the equation for me. Playing center or guard, just knowing his cadence and stuff like that. It’s just nice having a familiar person like that here.”

While Glasgow will be competing with Travis Swanson for the starting center job, Swanson likely will spend more time snapping starting quarterback Matthew Stafford because he’s the veteran. That’ll leave Glasgow to work primarily with Rudock or Dan Orlovsky.

Glasgow said he simply wants to improve as a player and push Swanson in camp.

“I guess we’ll see what happens on opening day,” he said.