NOTEBOOK: Corey Fuller a great example of hard work paying off

Posted Sep 1, 2014

Tim Twentyman covers all the news from Monday's practice including Corey Fuller's work ethic, James Ihedigbo's status and more.

Corey Fuller is a great example to young players in the NFL that hard work does in fact pay off.

A sixth-round pick by the Detroit Lions last year, the track star turned receiver spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad learning what it took to play receiver at the NFL level.

He had the frame (6-foot-2) and the speed (4.3 40-yard dash), but he had to polish up his route running, learn to stay lower coming out of his breaks, be stronger catching the football and a number of other little nuances that come with playing the position.

So, Fuller worked at it.

A week after the final game in Minnesota last year he was back to work training. He improved just about every aspect of his game and it showed this offseason and into training camp.

Fuller caught six passes for 90 yards (15.0 average) with two touchdowns in the preseason and earned a spot on the 53-man roster over veteran Kris Durham (now with Tennessee).

“It was quite evident the guy made plays,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Fuller's performance in the preseason. “He’s grown and developed. He’s got speed and length and he’s hungry.”

Fuller’s inclusion on the roster means he’s now slated to square off against brother Kyle Fuller, a rookie cornerback selected by Chicago in the first round.

Being on the same field with his younger brother has been a motivating factor and an important goal for Fuller all offseason. He'll get a chance to do it when Chicago comes to Ford Field on Thanksgiving.

“I called Kyle and I just told him to be ready for me to beat him when we play,” Fuller said with a laugh.


James IhedigboS James Ihedigbo (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Starting strong safety James Ihedigbo didn’t make the trip to Buffalo for the preseason finale last week so he could rehab an undisclosed injury.

Ihedigbo didn't take part in practice on Monday, but was moving around well, even running.

He said afterward that he's just been resting and he’ll be ready to go on Monday night vs. the Giants.

Caldwell has alluded to an injury with Ihedigbo. We’ll know what exactly what he’s been dealing with when the first injury report is released on Thursday.

Whatever’s on that injury report is what we’re going to follow, if he’s probable, so and so that’s what going to happen so you can ask me those questions,” Caldwell said.

“I’m going to answer them the same way. You’ll have to wait until the injury report comes out but he’s working at it he’s getting treatment and we’ll see what happens.”


The Lions’ media relations department released its first unofficial depth chart of the regular season and there are some notable changes on it.

Nick Fairley is again listed as the starting defensive tackle alongside Ndamukong Suh. Fairley lost that job to C.J. Mosley following the first preseason game, but Fairley steadily improved his play as the preseason went on.

He told reporters in the locker room after practice Monday that he hired a personal chef a couple weeks ago through his agent and is back between 305 and 310 pounds.

“It opened my eyes up,” Fairley said of his demotion. “They need me to play more consistent and that’s what they want out of me.”

Two other notable inclusions on the first team are LaAdrian Waddle at right tackle and Tahir Whitehead at SAM linebacker.

Waddle was battling veteran Corey Hilliard for that spot all through training camp.

Whitehead has played very well at the SAM the last two weeks.

Dan Orlovsky is listed as the backup quarterback with Kellen Moore listed as the third quarterback.


The NFL has a new, stricter policy on domestic violence and Caldwell is going to make certain his players are well informed about it.

A first offense is a six-game suspension for the players. A second is a lifetime ban from football.

“We’ll discuss in detail the new policy just released in terms of domestic violence we’ll talk about in detail,” Caldwell said. “I think that’s our responsibility to make certain that we do that and if we don’t do that then that’s my problem that’s my fault. I think we have to do a good job of educating our guys making certain our guys understand what the consequences are that we’re clear in terms of what’s expected of them as well.”

I’m certainly in favor of it and thus we’ll express that to the team as well.”


Ihedigbo, fellow safety Don Carey, and Van Noy did not participate in practice Monday.