NFC Notes: Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Lions

Joining the Lions as a veteran NFL cornerback, Desmond Trufant will be playing across from the top cornerback in the 2020 draft class in Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah who was selected with the third overall pick.

Trufant has plenty of advice for Okudah as he tries to mentor him and help him adjust to the pro level game, some of which he learned from older brothers Desmond and Isaiah who also played in the NFL as cornerbacks.

“It’s just a different game (in the NFL),” Trufant said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “It’s just faster. Everybody is bigger, stronger. You’re dealing with grown men out there. I know my first preseason play, I got welcomed to the NFL quick. There’s really no time to lack out there at corner because, you know how it goes, you’re the man one play, the next play they talking about you. You just got to stay even-keeled. It’s a marathon, at the end of the day. This position, at some point, somebody is going to make a play on you, but how do you react to that? Are you going to come back and make another play or are you going to let it just continue to roll? I think that’s the biggest thing you’ve got to learn, transitioning to this league.” 

As for if Okudah will be able to make it at the next level, Trufant says that he appears to have what it takes to be a successful NFL cornerback.

“At the corner position, there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders. I would just tell him, you create your own pressure out there,” said Trufant. “However you feel, however you react to every situation, it’s on you, good or bad. Just stay even-keeled. You’re not going to make every play, but you’re going to make a lot of plays, as well. That’s pretty much what I would tell him. I mean, honestly, I think he has what it takes. I can just tell he’s fundamentally sound. You know, that’s big coming to the NFL from college. Can you do your fundamentals every play? Whether you’re tired, no matter what the situation is, can you continuously do that? I can already tell he’s a technician. He just works hard, too, and he’s always asking questions. I’m excited to play with him and see how these things go.”

Packers

Packers S Darnell Savage spoke about his decision to remain in Green Bay in order to prepare himself during the offseason.

“I just wanted to be somewhere where I felt comfortable,” Savage said, via Tom Silverstein, Ryan Wood, and Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. “I wasn’t worried about any other place as far as any Florida, California, nothing like that. I just wanted to be comfortable and still be able to get good work in. Really just film study, learning the game more, learning myself more. It’s a long season, and there’s a lot of takeaways you can take from the season that’s good and bad. Really just learning and continuing to grow as a player.” 

  • The trio also believes that the Packers are taking a gamble on two longshot receiver prospects in Malik Turner and Travis Fulgham.
  • ESPN’s Rob Demovsky lists right tackle as the biggest position battle on the team, with free-agent signing Rick Wagner the first man up with the fallback plan of kicking G Billy Turner out to tackle if Wagner can’t handle it. 

Vikings

Vikings S Anthony Harris signed his franchise tender in May and is set to make $11.441 million during the 2020 NFL season. Regardless if he hits free agency or signs a long-term deal with the Vikings, he says good things are coming his way.

“For anybody, in a dream world, you’d want things to go completely your way, no hiccups or anything like that,” Harris said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But honestly I wasn’t really worried about it. I’ve always been saying my destiny will come to me.”

  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer addressed Dalvin Cook‘s contract situation on Friday: “I love the kid and hope he gets whatever he deserves.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Cook later stressed that he wants to stay in Minnesota: “This is where I want to be at. I was going to be here regardless of speculation.” (Chad Graff)
  • Cook was asked what his thoughts would be if the Vikings place the franchise tag on him: “Whatever comes out of it. I’m really not thinking (that far ahead).” (Chris Tomasson)
  • Cook said he hasn’t thought about taking out an insurance policy to protect him in the event he sustains injury: “No, we haven’t looked into that. I think I’m the insurance policy – me, myself. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to play football. Injuries come with the game … It was never an injury that I couldn’t battle back from and it just comes with it. You’ve got to accept that. I’m putting myself, my body in the best position to succeed this whole season.” (Courtney Cronin)
  • Zimmer indicated that Shamar Stephen has a good shot to replaced Linval Joseph and Michael Pierce at nose tackle: “Shamar has basically been a nose tackle most of his career so that’s probably a better position for him anyway.” (Chad Graff)
  • Zimmer mentioned that they’ll make a “quick decision” as to who’s on the starting offensive line, possibly by the end of next week. (Chad Graff)
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