RB Tion Green knows he ‘can’t squander’ shot with Lions

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Tion Green

Allen Park – An NFL rookie has enough to worry about, so it’s a relief to learn your teammates are welcoming.

Undrafted running back Tion Green got good vibes from the Detroit Lions organization back when he came to town for a pre-draft visit. He was impressed with the team’s leadership – from general manager Bob Quinn to coach Jim Caldwell to running back assistant David Walker – but he still was uncertain how he’d be treated in the locker room as one of the new guys.

But Green said he’s been overwhelmed by support since his arrival, not only from the guys in his position group, but from multiple players on the defense, as well. Even veteran long snapper Don Muhlbach chimed in with some supportive words.

“(Mule) just told me to sound confident in what I do,” said Green, who played at Cincinnati. “At least if I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m going to pretend I know what I’m doing. I’m going to make a mistake at full speed.”

Like all undrafted players, Green faces an uphill battle to win a job. But as the team’s only offseason addition at a position many observers earmarked as needing an upgrade, there’s a clear opportunity to make an impression.

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“To be honest with you, even back to college, I never called it a depth chart, I called it a rep chart,” Green said. “It’s whoever gets the best reps. I feel like one thing with the NFL, everybody gets an equal amount of reps, it’s just what you do with those reps.

“I know I’m a UDFA,” he said. “I know every opportunity I get, I can’t squander it.”

Green is embracing the challenge on and off the field.  He’s focusing on all the little things, such as an improved diet and sleep schedule, to help him maximize his opportunity. He’s also pouring his free time into learning the team’s playbook as he tries to figure out what he can offer that will help the Lions, and by extension, his chances of making the team.

“The speed of the game is very fast,” Green said. “That transition is very fast, so you have to really get into your playbook, study and be prepared. I think the better-prepared person will win their one-on-one matchups.”