Lions reserve linebacker
“Once it happened it was like, ‘Okay they may want you but they don’t want you as much as you think they do,’” Palmer said. “I said to myself, ‘Just continue to put the work in and show them that you are capable of playing in their system, being involved in the system, so they will put you on the field.’”
The Lions signed him to a free agent contract a month later. He was a key special teams player for them last season, appearing in all 17 games with eight tackles.
Entering his fourth season in the league, Palmer’s been making a bigger impact on defense early in training camp than most people might have predicted.
Palmer has been playing the 'Mike' linebacker spot with the second team all through camp and has been given some first-team reps in the middle when starter
“You know Ashlee’s been around for awhile but he’s still a young player,” head coach Jim Schwartz said. “He’s much more assignment-sound than he’s been in the past, that’s been a big thing. He’s a little bit more experienced, that’s been a thing so he’s had a good camp.”
Palmer said the biggest key for him getting reps on the defense was getting his head in the playbook and building the trust of coaches.
“We base everything on trust out here and if your coordinator doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to play,” Palmer said. “That’s just how it goes here.”
Palmer’s apparent ascentation up the depth chart has turned the linebacker competition into one of the better ones of this training camp. With rookie linebackers
The Lions kept seven linebackers out of training camp last season and if that’s the case this year, then Tulloch,
If the decision is made to keep six, then the Lions have a touch choice to make with Palmer contributing as much as he is right now on both defense and special teams.
“I’m still predominantly special teams, I just know what I’m doing (on defense) now and I’m playing faster,” Palmer said. “I’m making my reads faster and making more plays and getting in there.
“Everybody’s competing with each other trying to get a job. The young rookies are coming in and learning the system pretty fast. You’ve got myself and Doug learning the system fast. Competition brings out the best in people and that’s all we preach here.”