Brodric Martin: 'I Wasn't Ready' in 2023

Brodric Martin anticipates contributing in big way for Lions in 2024.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Brodric Martin (98) practices during minicamp at Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Brodric Martin (98) practices during minicamp at Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Detroit Lions could have strong depth on their defensive line in 2024.

After adding DJ Reader in free agency, the unit has the makings of a solid group on the interior. However, a big key to its success could be the performance of Reader's backup Brodric Martin.

A third-round pick out of Western Kentucky in 2023, Martin spent most of his rookie season developing on the practice field and watching from the sidelines. Now, after an offseason in which he worked hard to reshape his body, he appears primed to be a contributor in 2024.

Amidst a number of areas, Martin believes his most improved attribute is in the mental aspect of the game. He's also working hard to better his aggressiveness and hand placement against blockers.

“I’d say the most probably in my mind," Martin said. "Just it all slowed down for me a lot more. I understand the game a lot more. I’d say that’s where it’s really made a jump, for me.” 

Martin had aspirations to be a contributor during his rookie campaign, but wound up playing in just three games. He didn't debut until Week 8, when he first got snaps against the Las Vegas Raiders.

For a player who hoped to participate and help the Lions right away, it became a challenge for the defensive lineman. However, it also served as a source of motivation.

“I mean it was a challenge. In my mind, I wanted to play, but I wasn’t ready," Martin said. "That’s how it goes, sometimes you’re just not ready to do what you want. God ain’t got that in your plan for you to do that right there. Hopefully, this year, God’s got it in my plan to do that.”

Impact of newcomers

In addition to bringing in the talented Reader, the Lions also added a new leader to the defensive line room in the form of coach Terrell Williams.

The former Titans D-line coach, who Campbell called the best defensive line coach in the league, has already made a strong impact on the players in his room. Count Martin amongst that group, as he praised the relationship he has already built with his new position coach.

Formerly with Tennessee, Williams has implored Martin to watch film of former Titans defensive lineman Teair Tart, in an effort to emulate the performance of Tart at the nose tackle position.

“I think he brings a straight dog to the D-line room," Martin said. "He’s a great coach, he’s been in the league for umpteen years and he’s coached a lot of players and a lot of great players. He brings a lot of dog to this room, and he’s been a good coach for me because he understands. He’s coached guys like me, and he understands what I need and what I need to do. So, he’s really helped me out a lot.” 

As for Reader, the Lions added a proven veteran who has already proven to be a leader within the room. When Martin first met Reader, the former Bengal said he had already begun watching film on Martin and gave him tips to improve.

“That means a lot to me personally," Martin explained. "I never spoke to him before he got here, but the fact that he wanted to do that for me, it’s love. I really appreciate him for that.” 

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Christian Booher


Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.