Napa, Calif. — It's the next step in the progression for an undrafted rookie trying to beat the odds and make a roster. First, he must impress on the practice field against his teammates. Then he has to do it against someone else.
For Detroit Lions wide receiver Teo Redding, he didn't even have to wait for the first preseason game to get that opportunity. In a joint practice with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, the lanky receiver out of Bowling Green had the chance to show his stream of big-time catches at the Lions' practice facility in Allen Park weren't a fluke.
And while the sample size is small, Redding looked equally comfortable running routes against the Raiders' defensive backs, easily getting the best of third-year cornerback Antonio Hamilton twice in individual drills.
"Yeah, it builds my confidence a lot," Redding said. "That's what I wanted to come out here and do — make plays and show that I can do it against a different team."
Redding also needs to impress on special teams and that didn't go nearly as well against the Raiders. Working as a lead blocker on a kickoff return, he botched his assignment and got an earful from multiple coaches.
Redding acknowledged his weight could prove problematic on those units, but he's continuing to make progress packing pounds onto his frame. He's up to 183 pounds, with a long-term goal of reaching at least 190.
"(I'm) eating all the time, even when I'm not hungry," Redding said. "Eating at night. Right now, I'm going to snack on something. Snacking throughout the day and eating decent meals, about four or five meals per day."
Redding will make his preseason debut against the Raiders on Friday.
"It's going to be really exciting," he said. "It's like a dream come true. Grow up watching (the NFL) and now putting that jersey on my back, it's going to be really fun."
Lions vs. Raiders
What: First preseason game for both teams
When: Friday, 10:30 p.m.
Where: Oakland Alameda Coliseum
TV: Fox 2, NFL Network
Line: Oakland by 3