Get ready for “Big Homie”.
He’s obviously big. He’s strong. He is long and is ready to make a big impact for the Detroit Lions.
Big Homie is what they called Lions rookie defensive tackle Broderic Martin around his Tuscaloosa, AL neighborhood when he was a child. Now the big man from the small school (Western Kentucky) brings his talents up north and the third-round pick is rounding into shape to make a bid to start the season-opener in Kansas City.
Big Homie is striving for a new home with the Lions first-team unit. He’s been a monster in practice although he makes rookie mistakes and has pad level issues. He plays too high but is working on it.
“He’s got to drop his pads,” Lions Coach Dan Campbell said. “He plays too high right now, but you can see a guy who is working through it.”
I watched college film of Martin. Although he was unimpressive at the snap of the ball. You saw that high pad level which allowed offensive linemen to stand him up. However, his quickness and footwork allowed him to disengage quickly and stop runners in their track.
When runners came his way they were stopped quickly with little or no push forward. Big Homie became the brick wall.
In other words Homie don’t play that.
The Lions have a history of stout interior linemen with cool nicknames. Jerry Ball was The Governor. They called William Gay Musty. Now comes Big Homie who is a robust 6-foot-5, 330 pounds.
The Lions did not expect an immediate impact after selecting Martin in the third round of this year’s NFL draft. He was a project, but Martin set goals for himself, including starting in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. That goal is not etched in stone, but Martin made strides by getting first-team reps in practice.
“We see a level of growth,” Campbell said. “With his size, his length and his strength, you want to see if you can get him to come along a little quicker, potentially. If we saw a player that up to this point was not growing and you’re afraid he’s going to get somebody hurt by being in there, we’re not going to do it.
“The faster he can get worked in and have to go through that, and the more early he gets trucked, or gets worked and gets moved, man, it’ll be so good for him. That’s the best way to grow, is to get exposed and then you learn from it.”
Get used to Big Homie. He will be one of those later round Brad Holmes picks that make a difference.
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: © Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports