Detroit Lions wide receivers coach Robert Prince stopped by to talk to the Detroit Lions Podcast in Mobile.
In the middle of a very busy Senior Bowl week for the Detroit Lions down in Mobile, Alabama, Detroit Lions Podcast got the opportunity to talk to Lions wide receivers coach Robert Prince. The Lions have been coaching the North team in this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl,
an all star game that is widely attended by scouts and media alike to watch the upcoming draft class’s best senior draft prospects declaring for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Prior to becoming the Detroit Lions wide receivers coach, Prince spent time at Boise State University as their offensive coordinator and receivers coach for three seasons, as well as one season with the Seattle Seahawks as their receivers coach in 2009, the Jacksonville Jaguars as their assistant receivers coach from 2007-08 and the Atlanta Falcons as a tight ends coach from 2004-05 and assistant quarterbacks coach in 2006 among other stops during his coaching career.
Prince, who’s served as the Detroit Lions wide receivers coach since 2014 was generous enough to stop by and talk to Chris and Jeff live on YouTube and answered some questions about the team’s receivers and what he looks for in the position group.
What Coach Prince Had to Say
“It’s really, we’re trying to find the best receivers. Doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be tall, short, or fast or quick.” He talked about the different philosophies teams use to build their receiver rooms including length and speed, before saying “Our philosophy has kinda been hey, let’s go out and find the best players available and whatever the strengths of those players are, lets take advantage of those.”
He also said when asked specifically about the role of the big slot receiver in the NFL today and how his preferences may or may not be changing along with the evolution of defenses in today’s NFL, “What teams are going to do, is whatever players a team has, they’re going to try and use them to their strengths. I’m not saying that the smaller slots are dead, I think there’s plenty still out there and whatever players we have on our team we’re just going to try and use to the best of our ability.”
Another point that was brought up during the conversation, was how the wide receiver group had to adjust to a different quarterback throwing them the football this year for the first time not having Matthew Stafford as the starting quarterback for all 16 games. In response to that, the Detroit Lions wide receivers coach mentioned “It’s our job to get open. It doesn’t matter who’s throwing the ball, we’ve gotta get open.” and by adding that no matter who is throwing them the football, they still have to catch the ball and make a play.
Detroit Lions Receiver Targets at the Senior Bowl
He talked briefly about the great group of receivers that he’s been able to work with this year at the Senior Bowl as well. Prince made sure to note that all of them have been working hard and “It’s hard to pick out one guy” who has stood out during Senior Bowl week. He did lead off by saying though, that KJ Hill from Ohio State and James Proche of Southern Methodist have been doing great work in the slot, and that Denzel Mims from Baylor had made a few good plays during Thursday’s practice as well. Both Hill and Mims are potential Detroit Lions wide receiver targets in the middle of the draft this year and Proche could be a sleeper target for the team should he fall to a spot they like in the later rounds of the draft.
On Proche in particular, he added that “He does have some suddenness to create separation, so he does a nice job with that.” while saying that he has a fun group and has enjoyed working with everyone over the course of the week down in Mobile.
He also talked a little bit about Calvin Johnson and Danny Amendola and their ability to help build and create a culture in the receiver room. He referenced their leadership and how their work ethic has helped build the receiver room during his time coaching the Detroit Lions wide receivers. To watch the full interview with the Detroit Lions receivers coach, click here.
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