NFC Notes: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lewis Cine, Lions, Packers, Vikings

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Lions

Lions WRs coach Antwaan Randle El said he’s never seen any complacency in WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

“Cats get complacent and you don’t see it in him,” Randle El, via LionsWire. “You haven’t seen it in him yet, and I don’t expect you will. So I think he’s in a good spot (and will) continue to move forward.”

Randle El doesn’t think St. Brown is the type of player who will stop producing after he received his four-year, $120 million extension. 

“The challenge that I always speak to him about and guys who sign these big contracts that they disappear in a lot of ways and a lot of times. He’s not one of those guys. He hasn’t changed in terms of his work ethic and how he comes out and prepares, and that’s good to see.”

Packers

Packers QB Sean Clifford admitted that he was overthinking during portions of the team’s minicamp and started playing better football once he slowed down and allowed the game to come to him.

“I didn’t play my best football the last two days, which is frustrating because I felt like I was making a lot of progress the first two weeks,” Clifford said, via Sports Illustrated. “There’s a little bit of overthinking. It comes down to reading with my feet. I’m trying to make that next step. I feel like when I get up to the line, I can really see the call, feel the defense, but then there’s also that other part of overthinking. The last week, I just got into that overthinking, slower in my reads, not giving guys as much of a chance.”

Clifford recalled being benched during his junior season at Penn State in favor of QB Will Levis and said that he can overcome errors so long as he remains focused.

“I got benched on national television, and I’m not afraid to say it because it’s those times that you know you can overcome anything,” Clifford said. “I’m not going to take two days and let that ruin a career that I’m really excited about. We’re going to get back to it. We’re going to take some time off and not think about football for a week, and then we’re going to get right back to it and get better.”

Clifford was asked if the interceptions he threw would “infect” his mindset relative to the backup quarterback battle between him and rookie QB Michael Pratt.

“It’s all love at the end of the day,” he said of the quarterback room. “I think when you’re looking at it from the outside-in, you would think of it as a very, very rigorous competition. You might feel like there’s bad blood but, really, at the end of the day, this group is awesome. Mike getting added was fantastic. I’m super-excited for him. Obviously, J-Love is our leader. He’s one of, if not the, best quarterback in the league right now. It’s cool to watch because you just see him making those steps and it’s like, ‘OK, where can I find mine, as well?’ From a competition perspective, at the end of the day, let’s just be honest, it’s either Jordan, me, Mike or some other guy in the league. They can bring in anybody at the end of the day, so I’m going to try to put on my best self and continue to get better.”

LaFleur said Clifford has a great work ethic and doesn’t expect the addition of Pratt to change how Clifford prepares each day.

“I think he’s a self-starter,” LaFleur said after practice. “He’s got that intrinsic motivation, so I don’t think whether we drafted Pratt or not it’s going to change his mindset. Now, I think the more competition you have, I do think it can bring out the best in you. But in terms of the mindset, the way he attacked it, I saw him all last season. He attacked it as if he were the starter. I would expect nothing less from him and I don’t think his mindset has changed at all.”

Vikings

Vikings second-year LB Ivan Pace Jr. is grateful to have the opportunity to wear the defense’s green dot as its defensive signal caller. 

“It made me think more and actually focus and break down what the offense is doing, what our defense is doing,”  Pace said via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. “I know they brought in a couple linebackers that have more experience and stuff, but if they trust me enough to have the green dot, I’m ready for it.”

  • Seifert points out that during spring practices it looked like former first-round S Lewis Cine was the sixth safety on the depth chart and wasn’t mixing in until the third team was on the field. Cine has played just 10 snaps in 10 games over two seasons. 

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