Haloti Ngata accepting new leadership role with Lions

Haloti Ngata - You TubeVeteran defensive lineman, Haloti Ngata is in an unfamiliar position on the Detroit Lions’ roster this season.

Seeing the defensive line get extremely young so far in the off-season with guys like Darryl Tapp (free agent) and Jason Jones (signed with the Miami Dolphins) not with the team this season, it has left Ngata with a leadership role to help mentor the young, talented defensive line for the Lions.

“When I first started off I was like Ziggy, I was quiet and never talked. But I understand now that I am a veteran and if you want to help the team win you’ve got to help these younger guys out.”

Ngata has seemed to take rookie defensive tackle, A’Shawn Robinson under his wing as like a mentoring role that most veterans play with the rookies. He will probably be the one to take care of Robinson off the field, you know buy him a snazzy new suit, make sure he knows how to go about his business on road trips and stuff like that. Ngata spoke very highly of the talented rookie from the University of Alabama.

“He’s a kid that’s willing to learn. Takes in everything and you know he’s a kid that’s going to be really dominant because he doesn’t let criticism get him down. He uses it to try and get better.”

Since his rookie season in 2006 with the Baltimore Ravens, Ngata has proven to be an extremely durable player as he’s only missed 11 regular season games out of a possible 160 games. That’s pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

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The Lions re-signed Ngata to a two-year, $12 million dollar contract this off-season. His numbers dropped a bit from his days with the Ravens during his first tenure with the Lions last season. He had his lowest total tackle numbers of his entire career, but still proved to be a force on the inside of the defensive line.

All of the youth on the defensive line has Ngata excited this off-season.

“We got bigger guys this offseason and having those guys is going to push us to be better and better. It’s exciting to be a part of this and being able to try and help lead these guys and let them become a good group.”

I expect a nice rebound season from Haolit Ngata and with A’Shawn Robinson being looked at the produce as early as Week 1 on the football field, I think that will give Ngata some extra incentive to have a bounce back year, given Robinson is the rookie he’s taken under his wing.

What do you think, Nation, how do you see Haloti Ngata performing in 2016 for the Lions?

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