Saturday, June 25, 2022

“This is the NFL:” AJ Parker is not letting up despite rookie success

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The NFL, it is said, stands for “not for long,” meaning a player is always at constant risk of losing their job to someone else.

AJ Parker made it to the Detroit Lions in 2021 and ended up costing someone else a job, and that’s exactly why he has no plans to quit in 2022. As is well known, nothing is guaranteed in the league, so he must constantly prove himself, no matter how solid his position in the team may seem.

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As Parker explained to the media on Wednesday, June 9, while he has a big role for the team in 2021 as an undrafted free agent, he’s not slacking off this offseason to pursue a regular role.

“That’s the NFL man, your job really is never secure so it’s always about getting better and working. I just focus on getting better. Can’t afford to[slack off],” he said.

At this point, Parker sees a huge benefit in terms of his own experience. He knows the staff and the location of the country so there are no surprises.

“For me the only difference right now is just the experience,” he said. “I’ve been here a year so I understand the schemes of what the coaches want from me, exactly what I need to do to be successful, but the same mindset comes and you know you’re fighting for a job. ”

Understanding what his employees expect is also a plus for Parker at this point, since he’s been around the block before.

“Much more confidence just to be here and already knowing what to expect and knowing, like I said, what the coach expects. It gives me a lot of confidence,” he admitted.

Locked up, it seems like Parker isn’t resting on his laurels after a good 2021 season in the league, even as he understands what’s coming.

Last year Parker played well when he had a chance to influence the game. He managed to play in 13 games from 7 starts. In addition, statistically speaking, he put on 50 tackles, 7 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception. However, Parker has had an intermittent injury and he wants to make sure that doesn’t happen next season.

“Making sure I’m in the weight room and really gaining weight and building muscle so I can play all 17 games or 20 games or 25 games no matter how many games we’ve played this year,” admitted Parker.

The goal is to play more games, and Parker’s goal is to be physically ready for that grind. It seems like he’s doing a good job figuring out what to do to get to this point.

Parker’s rise through the pros was rapid with the Lions. In college, Parker played for Kansas State and had very solid stats for the Wildcats. Over four full seasons, Parker accumulated 145 tackles, 6 interceptions, 17 passes defended, and 1 touchdown. Those numbers were solid but may not have garnered much attention in the league’s pre-draft process, which may have caused him to be overlooked over the weekend in 2021.

Watching the video of his first season on the field in the league, Parker showed great adaptability, which was very impressive for a rookie player:

Coming to the Lions, Parker made an instant difference and made the roster. Now that he’s on the team, it’s clear he has no intention of giving up and giving up his place.

CONTINUE READING: Analyst reveals why Lions will make playoff push

Watching the video of his first season on the field in the league, Parker showed great adaptability, which was very impressive for a rookie player:

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