Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown left little doubt regarding what he’s about after the final day of the team’s rookie minicamp on Sunday. Ultra-competitive, just like first-year coach Dan Campbell wants them, St. Brown was all business this weekend.
“I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to work and I’m ready to take someone’s job,” St. Brown said.
The son of a world champion body builder, and younger brother to two other football players, including Green Bay wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, the Lions rookie said his competitive nature is the result of his upbringing.
“It’s just the way I was raised, having two older brothers, being super competitive my whole life,” St. Brown said. “I was always extra competitive. I always had to do a little extra more to beat them at whatever we were doing. That’s just kind of the mentality that I have is come in and take someone’s job.”
In addition to his siblings, St. Brown’s new source of motivational fuel was where he went in the draft, or, more specifically, the players who went ahead of him before the Lions selected him in the fourth round earlier this month.
“I’m never going to forget the 15 receivers that went before me in the draft,” St. Brown said. “That’s kind of the chip I have on my shoulder coming into everything I do. Whenever I’m thinking about anything, that just comes back to my mind and motivates me to do more.”
To get a jump-start with his acclimation, St. Brown worked out with several new teammates earlier this week in Southern California, including quarterback Jared Goff. And while St. Brown could only stay two days before he had to report to the Lions for rookie minicamp, he viewed the brief time with the veterans as invaluable.
“I think it was really advantageous for me to go out there and meet the guys, create a bond with the guys, get the timing down on certain routes,” St. Brown said. “… just being out there with the quarterbacks, the receivers, understanding the offense, getting a grasp of everything, that’s the biggest thing is learning that playbook. I think all that together is going to help me out.”
At minicamp, St. Brown made a strong first impression. Campbell said the receiver was “as advertised,” while rookie cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu praised St. Brown’s quick feet and good hands.
Melifonwu and St. Brown, who were selected 11 picks apart in the draft, only worked a handful of live reps against each other this weekend. That might have been the most frustrating aspect of the weekend for the receiver, who expressed disappointment there wasn’t more aggressive competition packed into orientation.
Of course, there will plenty of time for that, through the remaining OTA practices, June’s mandatory minicamp, training camp and the preseason. That’s when St. Brown can truly prove he’s ready to take someone’s job.