Allen Park -- It likely will be a while before we have clarity on who will start at cornerback opposite Darius Slay for the Detroit Lions, but DeShawn Shead is doing what he can to state his case for the job.
When it comes to defensive play, consistency is most important, but nothing can make a bigger difference in a game than forcing a turnover. And while the Lions secondary, as a whole, has failed to tally an interception the first seven days of training camp, Shead has forced a pair of fumbles, knocking a second free on Friday with a precision punch out against running back LeGarrette Blount.
"My mindset is to go after the ball," Shead said. "That's my number one mindset. The turnover ratio is a big factor in the game, so one of my goals is to go after the ball. Day in and day out, that's all I think about. Every technique and skill we work on, it's just about going after the ball."
Shead noted that before attempting to jar a ball free, he always prioritizes being in position to make a tackle.
"You've got to make sure you secure the tackle first," Shead said. "Once you're in position, you go after that ball. There are so many different techniques to going after it. We practice it every day and we just try to use our tools."
Shead is competing for a starting job with Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor, last year's second-round pick. Coach Matt Patricia hasn't ruled out a situational rotation, similar to the one the Lions deployed last year with Lawson and D.J. Hayden.
"I have done that with corners, I have done it with safeties, situationally, even just areas of the field," Patricia said. "If there is somebody that just keeps standing out from a standpoint of like ‘Hey, this guy is really successful in this situation or this area of the field,’ then you’re going to try to find a way to get him out in the game in that same situation."