Lions TE Eric Ebron respects OC Jim Bob Cooter’s candor

In today’s “everybody is a winner” upbringing, Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron has a strong message for his fellow generation. According to Ebron, the demeanor of offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is just what “babied” millennials need — a tough-love, no-nonsense approach.

Even though Ebron is still just 23 years old, the past couple seasons in the NFL have been somewhat of a reality check for the third-year player. The outspoken tight end has rubbed many fans the wrong way due to a brash attitude that most consider too large for an underperforming top-ten selection. You could even describe his antics in a more notorious Gen-Y label: entitled.

Although Ebron seems to be the quintessential millennial, perhaps he has had some sort of epiphany. When asked what he liked about Cooter, he gave a rather robust answer with an interesting twist.

Per Paula Pasche of The Oakland Press:

“He’s straight forward, he’s going to tell you what’s up. You ball you play, you don’t, you ride the pine. That’s simple football. He keeps it real, as you would say, with all of us. He’s not hiding anything he’s not going to babysit anyone, babysit anything. He keeps it real and tells the truth. … I mean it’s what you need in this day and age.”

“Everybody’s been babied growing up, especially my era of growing up and I’m only 23. We’ve all been babied, we need someone to tell us what’s real and what’s not. So Jim Bob does that he lets us know and brings the best out of us.’’

Ebron appears to be responding well to the blunt coaching technique of Cooter.

“He just tells me what he expects from me,” Ebron said. “He told me as soon as I walked in the building what he expects from me, and what I’m prepared to do this season. He just told me straight-forward and dropped the mic.”

There is plenty of empirical data that suggest year three is when tight ends begin to blossom. With the departure of target-hog Calvin Johnson, Ebron’s role should increase by default. Despite the record-high expectations, Ebron will not determine his growth and development by stats alone.

“I define progression by maturing, understanding and trying to become a leader. That’s how I define progression. That’s how you progress, Mentally you progress, physically you progress and everything else falls into place,’’ Ebron said.

As usual, Ebron couldn’t end his interview without a little narcissistic humor. When questioned if he had changed physically: “I’m still just as handsome as I was last year.’’

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