Detroit Lions Position Battles: Ashlee Palmer All But Has Starting Job Locked Down
After a disappointing 2012 season, the Detroit Lions feel their team is healthy and a bit more revamped in preparation to make a run at the NFC North title this year. Throughout camp, there have been plenty of fun guys to watch as so many jobs are on the line. One of the best battles so far has been at left outside linebacker.
27-year old Ashlee Palmer has been waiting for his shot to start, and throughout camp has been competing with Travis Lewis and Tahir Whitehead for the left outside spot. Splitting time for the most part, Palmer looks like he’s going to see an increase in playing time here pretty quick — a big increase.
While there hasn’t been a starter named just yet, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has said that Palmer is a frontrunner for the job after his play this preseason and throughout camp.
“I don’t know that race is over yet, but he has certainly taken the lead,” Schwartz said according to the Detroit Free Press. “He’s been consistent through training camp, he’s made plays in preseason games. He’s played physical, but again we’re not at the finish line there yet.
Palmer is excited about the opportunity, but knows that he cannot stop doing everything else he is used to doing in practice, nor does he want to. Playing not only defense but special teams seems like it will always be a part of him.
“I’m still trying to fight with (special-teams coordinator John Bonamego). I ask him every other day, ‘Let me get a coverage, let me run down on coverage,’ ” Palmer said. “I’ll never stop loving that part of the game.”
While Palmer is a frontrunner at the moment, he will surely be a guy to watch as the preseason closes down soon. He knows there’s no room for error nor any room to let up, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll be lining up with that first unit come week one.