Bob Wojnowski, John Niyo and Justin Rogers preview the Lions-Steelers game on this week's Lions Lowdown. Detroit News
Detroit – When Lions tight end Eric Ebron was preparing for the birth of his first child, his teammates told him one thing: Watch how your life is going to change.
That moment hit Ebron late one night last week when he was up in the postpartum room holding his newborn son Oliver Dash Ebron and he was staring into his eyes.
“Somebody in the other room was cutting onions or something cause I just started crying, man,” Ebron said earlier this week. “It's just an amazing feeling, especially someone that looks exactly like you. It's definitely crazy.”
For Ebron, it was an eventful bye week as he traveled back to Houston for the life-altering experience, one that the fourth-year pro said is going to serve as a source of inspiration both personally and professionally.
“It helps you throughout everything, man. The switch is just, like, it's amazing,” Ebron said. “It's like how fast and how important everything becomes, everything that you're doing, because now you're setting an example not only for yourself and for people that look up to you, but for one person that's eventually going to want to be like you – talk like you and act like you.
“It kind of changes your whole perspective on everything. The way you wake up, the way you brush your teeth. It's everything, man.”
Ebron said becoming a father has changed his outlook and perspective on his profession. Work just isn’t work anymore; it’s life.
It also drove home how grateful he is that he gets to play football for a living to take care of his family.
“It makes this job so much more fun just because of what I get to do. Eventually he'll look up to me and be like, ‘Wow, my dad was on TV, he was doing all these things’ and it'll just be amazing,” Ebron said. “I just look at this as the best thing ever that I can do and it makes me want to go out there and do it even more, even harder, so that when he grows up he can either be like me, be better than me or, shoot, play baseball so he can get a $500 million contract.”
Ebron, who reportedly is drawing interest from other teams ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, is in the midst of a disappointing and mostly fruitless season.
He’s caught just 13 of the 26 passes thrown his way for 102 yards and a touchdown in six games, and is averaging career lows in yards per game (17) and yards per reception (7.8). He has also finished with two or fewer receptions in five games, less than 10 yards receiving four times, and has dropped multiple passes the past two home games, which has drawn boos from the fans.
Yet, the hardest thing for Ebron now isn’t his on-field struggles but being away from his son, who is still in Houston with his fiancée. And Ebron hopes that renewed focus will help make an impact on the football field.
This is probably the happiest I've ever been,” Ebron said. “This is probably the calmest I've ever been, this is probably the most excited I've ever been and it's just simply because if I go out there and play hard and we get this win then I get to go see him. If we don't, we got to come in Monday, so I'm definitely going to try to go out there and give it everything I got so I can go home and see him because that's really what all it boils down to.
“(My fiancée) is at home and all she wants is the dad around. I'm just looking forward to going home early so (I’m going to) try to play my heart out for that.”