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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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    Lions’ cornerback Jeff Okudah balancing aggression, discipline in Year 2

    Allen Park — Jeff Okudah got greedy. The Detroit Lions cornerback thought he saw something before the snap, tried to jump the route he envisioned the receiver would run and got badly burnt by a deep ball in a preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. 

    Okudah compared the mistake to a different type of burn, one where a toddler places their hand on a hot stove. And much like the idiom goes, he plans to learn from the mistake so that it won’t happen again. 

    “I think the more you play, the higher your football IQ gets,” Okudah said. “You learn when to take calculated risks. …That was one of those moments where I felt like it was really self-inflicted. I learned a lot from it and I think it’ll make me a better player going forward.”

    Okudah’s coaches were disappointed by the result of the play, and the fact Okudah didn’t follow his pre- and post-snap keys, but  one thing no one is taking issue with is the second-year cornerback’s mindset. He thought he had a chance to generate a takeaway and the Lions are trying to instill that kind of aggression in the defensive backs after the team has struggled to generate turnovers the past couple seasons. 

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