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Lions' Jeff Okudah Is Watching Film, Trusting Tips of Teammates, Coaches

Detroit Lions' Jeff Okudah is working diligently to improve his game.

One aspect of a young NFL player's development that can expedite success is being able to trust what is being advised by teammates and the coaching staff

For third-year cornerback Jeff Okudah, trusting the advice from teammate Amani Oruwariye and the coaching staff, including Aubrey Pleasant, Aaron Glenn and Brian Duker, has contributed to his solid start to the 2022 season. 

One year removed from a devastating Achilles' injury, the 23-year-old defensive back has been able to limit the productivity of two talented wideouts from the Eagles and Commanders

"Just looking there from training camp last year, going to this year, his habits as far as becoming a pro has really improved. And, that would be for any young player -- and they have to improve, because you just don't know until you get into the league. Then, you start to learn about other people, and you still have coaches starting to teach you. So, obviously that's going to happen," Glenn told reporters. "But, to the magnitude as far as, man, he's diving into it every day as hard as he can. You see those things starting to help him. He's started to really lean on Amani (Oruwariye). That's been a voice for him to lean on -- me, AP (Aubrey Pleasant), Brian Duker, as far as tips. The thing that is good is he's trusting those tips. He is putting them to work. That's the thing about watching film. You can watch film all you want, but do you trust what you see? That's the one thing that he's doing a good job of."

Okudah has been dialed in, watching plenty of film in order to gain as much of an advantage as possible, since he missed so much playing time during the first two seasons of his career. 

"Honestly, being in my third year, I don’t have that many physical reps," Okudah told All Lions, following Detroit's victory over the Commanders Sunday. "So, I have to make up for it on the mental side. Something I’ve gotta stay tapped into. I don’t have the luxury of not embracing that part of the game, because I’ve gotta catch up mentally in certain aspects."

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A race to improve 

The Lions' defensive performance in the first half against the Commanders was indicative of the style of defense Glenn and the coaching staff want to play. 

Through Week 2, the Lions' defense has generated 48 total quarterback pressures, tied for the most in the entire NFL, according to Pro Football Focus

"That was a fun, fun way to play defense, because that's a vision of who we want to be," said Glenn. "And, that's something we've worked on since the offseason. 

"And, we're steady working to that. And especially when you start to integrate new players like we have over the past -- these past two years. So, we've got to continue going. We've got to continue to build on that, continue improving," Glenn continued. "And, I think our head coach said it best, 'We are in a race to improve.' But, when you have so many young players, that's a really, that's a true statement. It's a true statement. So, our guys understand that. They had fun playing, but they know that we've got to continue to improve and get better as we go along, because that was fun football."