Saturday, January 14, 2023

Gritty Lions Weapon earns significant honor for elite play this season

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The Detroit Lions have many underrated players making waves at key points, and perhaps nobody embodies that spirit more than Caliph Raymond.

Throughout the season, Raymond wore many hats for the Lions, playing wide receiver and serving as the team’s punt returner. He excelled in both roles and eventually received recognition for what he does.

Raymond was named one of the AP’s 2022-23 NFL All-Pros for his work, cracking second-team punt returner for the past season.

While Raymond was not a first-team All-Pro for Detroit, Marcus Jones was elected to that post in New England. Jones has also been great that season, rushing for 362 yards and a touchdown on punt returns.

What earned Raymond his place on this team? His 264 yards and a score on punt returns. That season, Raymond contributed a 47-yard punt return in the first quarter that helped the Lions win an important game against the New York Jets December 20-17.

Raymond was electrifying, and the writers clearly noticed that this year when he was the only Lions player to receive any sort of All-Pro honor for his work that year.

It’s fascinating to go back and look at what the players were saying before the season. Raymond was totally focused on his team and helping everyone improve while doing everything he could for the squad.

Speaking to the media on June 9, 2022, Raymond’s bold team-first approach was showcased. As he explained, he was willing to do anything to help his team and teammates.

“Honestly, just (help) wherever I can, but I can. That goes for everything from knowing what to do to helping where I can, including in other places, because this playbook and everything is new to everyone. So when we honestly bounce off each other, we all give our little two cents and it helps us as a whole unit,” he said at the time.

Detroit’s offense would finish the league top three, and the team would see great performances from wideout space, as Amon-Ra St. Brown went for 1,000 yards that year. Raymond himself had a great season catching passes and also proved he was always ready to help the team as a whole.

An important mission for the season has been accomplished for Raymond. It was his aim to help across the board and he was able to achieve this in a big way.

In terms of a true Swiss Army knife, there is perhaps no one in the NFL better than Raymond, who doesn’t deserve the praise or hype of others in the league.

Raymond has proven to be a reliable target for the Lions as a wide receiver when he needs 616 yards on 47 catches due to injury or other concerns. Additionally, he brings a game-changing element to special teams in punt-and-kick returns.

As a wideout, Raymond received a deep 43-yard pass from Jared Goff in the Week 18 Finals that was nearly a touchdown on first down in the third quarter. Not only did he have to pass Green Bay runners-up, but he also had to make a fantastic adjustment to the ball near the goal line.

That game, as Raymond would later attest, was made despite the fact that he suffered broken ribs early in the game.

Not only does he play a fantastic wide receiver, he’s tough and refuses to give an inch. For one of those guys who does a little bit of everything on the field, it’s great to see Raymond finally getting some love for his skills and what he brings to the table.

Not only does he play a fantastic wide receiver, he’s tough and refuses to give an inch. For one of those guys who does a little bit of everything on the field, it’s great to see Raymond finally getting some love for his skills and what he brings to the table.

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