Ashlee Palmer came to the Detroit Lions in 2009 after being released by the Buffalo Bills. Over the last few years he has been relegated to back-up and special teams duty. He watched the Lions bring in free agent after free agent who were always placed before him on the depth chart. Now it appears as if all the hard work, determination and patience has paid off. Palmer has been working with the 1st team defense most of camp and all signs are pointing to him being the starting linebacker for the opener.
Jim Schwartz recently rewarded another camp standout, Darius Slay, for his hard work in camp. Ashlee Palmer is the latest example that shows the strategy may be working. Schwartz told Tim Twentyman of Detroitlions.com the Palmer has earned the opportunity.
“I don’t know if that race is over yet, but he has certainly taken the lead,” head coach Jim Schwartz said of Palmer. “He has been consistent through training camp and has made plays in preseason games. He’s played physical. Again, we’re not at the finish line there yet. We still have work to do there. We’re only into our third preseason game. He’s put together a nice string and he’s been consistent and that’s been a thing that he was sort of working to become as a player. It’s been good to watch him be a lot more consistent.”
It is great to see a player being rewarded for being a good teammate. After years of toiling in a back-up and on special teams (although he likes special teams), Ashlee Palmer finally gets to step into the spotlight and by all accounts he is ready.
“I’ve been waiting for (awhile), man,” Palmer said of the opportunity that now in front of him. “I’ve been here the last four years and I’ve been soaking everything in. (They) bring in Tully (Stephen Tulloch), bring in Justin Durant and brought Bobby (Carpenter) in. Being pushed to the back of the bus isn’t a good thing, but I did well with it and just learned from the guys they brought in here, took something from each of their games, and just tried to be consistent and work within my boundaries and my means.”
Detroit Fans are attracted to the player who show determination and blue-collar effort. If Palmer can contribute in a starting roll with grit and determination he will quickly become a fan favorite.
You can see Ashlee Palmer start against the New England Patriots at Ford Field on Thursday starting at 7:30 pm. Then log on to Detroit Jock City for all the news and views regarding your Detroit Lions.