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Aubrey Pleasant not ready to ‘hang his hat’ on Jeff Okudah excelling under the lights

When the Detroit Lions selected CB Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the organization believed he would come in and quickly become a lockdown cornerback.

Unfortunately, Okudah got off to a slow start under former Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who seemed to make everybody on the team worse.

Then, once Okudah got a new head coach (and defensive coordinator) in 2021, he suffered an Achilles injury in the Lions’ very first game of the season.

Detroit Lions coach not ready to ‘hang his hat’ on Jeff Okudah excelling under the lights

Now, Jeff Okudah is fully recovered from his Achilles injury and according to most reports, he has played well during training camp practices.

The question is, will Okudah be able to shine when it’s time to play in an actual game?

During a recent media session, Lions DBs coach Aubrey Pleasant said he wants Okudah’s athleticism and football IQ to match up.

“I think mental health and his game are actually linked together,” Pleasant said. “So as he stays mentally where he needs to be and focus on the small things like his technique, communication, the eye discipline, I think his game is going to continue to progress. I think everybody in here knows, whether you know football or not, Jeff Okudah is a very good athlete. You just watch football, so let’s make that athleticism catch up to the football IQ.”

Pleasant then added that he is not yet comfortable “hanging his hat” on Okudah being a player who will show up when the bright lights come on.

“You guys probably don’t believe it, but there’s some guys that are called practice players who go out there and practice and they make everything right and they do it right but yet under the lights they’re not able to excel,” Pleasant said. “And by no means am I saying that with Jeff, but I don’t feel comfortable enough to hang my hat on that until I actually see it as a coach. But again, for him to finish the way he did, (having a pass breakup after a rough start) before his injury that first game last year is promising.”

Nation, how do you think Jeff Okudah will fare in 2022 with the Detroit Lions?

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W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady
W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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The Detroit Lions most-dangerous off-season addition could become a stud.

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This is just another example of how Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes has nailed the NFL Draft.

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The Detroit Lions are ALWAYS looking to improve their roster.