Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Teez Tabor: Lions rookie CB Tabor dealing with bad hammy

Rita Gibson | 19 May, 2017, 21:52

The talk about his speed, or lack thereof, bothers Tabor.

When the Lions turned in a card with his name on it during the second round, neither fans nor media had a clear idea of exactly how healthy he was. She designed shirts for family members and friends to wear at his draft party which read, "Press play, watch the tape". I probably went about it the wrong way, trying to be a knucklehead ...

There was Tabor's claim that an otherwise non-apparent injury slowed his 40-yard dashes at the combine, then even slower runs at his Pro Day and Ian Rapoport's uncorroborated report that Tabor "badly" aggravated it during a private workout with the Lions. Tabor said Friday he's looking forward to revisiting the topic with his critics in a few years.

"It adds fuel to the fire", Tabor said. "It's like when you tell somebody they can't do something, you're basically making them try even harder to do what you tell them they can't do". The reality, though, is that it's far more important Tabor's hamstring be completely healed than he rush himself back. He said later that he had hurt his hamstring right before the Combine.

"I'm just a guy who wants to go out here and do anything I can to help the team win", Tabor said.

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Tabor took part in last week's rookie minicamp, but was limited by a hamstring injury he's been dealing with since the pre-draft process. So there is a path for Tabor, whether he ends up being a starter or not as a rookie.

For now, Tabor said he's working to learn his new playbook - "It's like you speak English, but you're trying to learn French". He used a second-round draft pick to acquire Tabor's services for the next four-plus years. But he's entering a crowded depth chart at cornerback, a group that is returning all of its top contributors from previous year, plus added former first-round pick D.J. Hayden in free agency and a second rookie, fifth-rounder Jamal Agnew.

Tabor said he expects to be 100% "by the time training camp comes", at which point everyone will get a better read on his speed and playing ability against National Football League competition. Not matter how well he played in training camp, Tabor was unlikely to play any more than a rotational role.

Tabor will share the practice field with the veterans for the first time next week and he's eager to impress as a student. "I'm not anxious about competing right now, I'm just anxious about learning as much as I can".

The Lions will hold OTA practices May 23-25.

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