Lions expect 'Beast' Warford to be even better in 2014
The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - Detroit Lions - INSIDE SLANT
Larry Warford had a phenomenal rookie season, and although many pro athletes experience a sophomore slump, coach Jim Caldwell doesn't expect one from the 2013 third-round pick.
"I just think that he's got the proper makeup," Caldwell said. "He never gets too high or too low. He's not full of himself.
"He has none of that (hubris), and he also doesn't think he's arrived. He's working extremely hard, so I doubt very seriously that you'll see him slip. I think you'll continue to see him progress."
As a rookie, Warford played all 1,158 offensive snaps and did not allow a sack. He was also great as a run blocker and was typically the lineman farthest downfield on productive screen passes.
"Larry's a beast," running back Reggie Bush said. "I'm glad he's on our side, because he's just one of those old school, nasty offensive linemen that you love to have blocking for you."
Physically, Warford is a beast. He came to training camp at 327 pounds, which is actually the lightest he can recall reporting after being in the 340s at Kentucky. During the offseason, he trained with other NFL linemen at LeCharles Bentley's O-Line Performance camp in Arizona, the same place he worked out before his rookie season.
To improve in Year 2, Warford said he worked on improving his quickness, punches and overall technique.
Warford struggled at the start of training camp as a rookie, and his teammates recognized how much mental strain he went through. But once the season started, he was so good that Bush said the running backs regularly talked about him in meetings.
"That was one of the things about Larry was that he was always one of the guys finishing - 10, 15 yards down the field," Bush said. "It didn't matter how far the ball was. He was one of the guys that always showed up in the picture chasing the ball down, and you've got to love a guy like that."
Even though he had a great rookie season, Warford said he never expects to be content with his performance.
"I don't know what it is, but I always have this thing about me where I just feel like I have something new to learn," he said. "Until I learn everything, I won't be perfect. And I'll always feel like I have something else to learn, so I'll never be perfect."
NFL Team Report - Detroit Lions - NOTES, QUOTES
--Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, the Detroit Lions' first-round pick in 2013, looks like he will be activated from the physically unable to perform list in the near future.
The Lions placed Ansah on the PUP at the start of training camp as he continued to recover from a February shoulder surgery. During camp, Ansah regularly worked on the sideline with a trainer, and he did his most extensive work Monday.
"He's making good progress," coach Jim Caldwell said. "I mean, they're ramping up his activities in terms of his rehab. I think as you watch him out here, he's doing more and more and more each day. He's getting close, so we'll see what happens."
Caldwell did not say whether or not Ansah would be available for the exhibition opener Saturday against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday at Ford Field.
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