Arnold: If Mom Was a Receiver, 'I'd Jam Her Into the Dirt'

Terrion Arnold unafraid of playing physical.
Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold (0) practices during rookie minicamp.
Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold (0) practices during rookie minicamp. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Friday marked the first opportunity for the Detroit Lions' rookies to take the field as members of the organization.

With Mother's Day approaching, Arnold praised the influence that his mother has had on his life. From consistent support to sending him devotionals, the rookie cornerback expressed gratitude.

However, he also quipped that he wouldn't hold back if forced to line up against her on the football field. He shared how he and his mother used to compete when he was younger, which helped him develop into a physical and fearless player.

"Even as a kid, when I used to beat my mom at racing, I had to genuinely beat her," Arnold said. "We used to fight when I was younger. Just wrestling with her, playing around, I'll never forget one time my mom kicked my tooth out because we were just going at it so hard. So if my mom was out here right now and she lined up across from me as a receiver, I would jam her into the dirt. That's my mindset, and my mom knows that right now."

The fact of becoming an NFL player became real when the rookie first donned the helmet and snapped a picture to send to his family.

For many prospective hopefuls, the highest rank of football is simply a dream. However, it became real when he first slipped on the helmet Friday.

“When I put (the helmet) on, I sent a picture to my family," Arnold said. "When I sent a picture to my family, they were like, ‘You finally made it. Now it’s time to get to work.’ That’s just the structure and the way I was brought up. So I obviously made a name for myself in college, now it’s time to go out here and like I’ve always said, coming to win. Coming to win a Super Bowl. That’s the goal.”

'Ain't nobody like me'

For players like Arnold, Friday was the realization of a dream coming true. Though the workout was conducted without pads and consisted mostly of individual drills, Arnold was able to gain the valuable experience of beginning to learn the team's defensive scheme.

The rookie has a confident aura about him. When asked what side he prefers to play as a cornerback, he didn't limit himself to simply that position.

“I’m more comfortable anywhere," Arnold said. "I don’t consider myself a cornerback, I consider myself a defensive player. I can play anywhere on the field. I can even line up at nose guard if I’ve gotta line up there. Playing football is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. I continue to say it, man, I’m happy to be out there, I really am.” 

Arnold will don the number zero for the Lions in his rookie campaign. He offered a blunt assessment of why he chose that number, stating, "aint' nobody like me."

The Alabama product later clarified that the phrase is emblematic of the secondary as a whole.

“Nah, when I say nobody like me, it’s kind of like talking about the secondary," Arnold explained. "Obviously, last year in the secondary we had ups and downs. But we’re gonna be excited, we’re gonna be dynamic, we’re gonna play fast, and there’s not gonna be nobody like us. So when I say there ain’t nobody like me, there ain’t nobody like me.

Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold speaks to the media during the first day of rookie minicamp.
Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold speaks to the media during the first day of rookie minicamp. / All Lions/John Maakaron

Relationship with Rakestraw

The Lions made the decision to double up on cornerback talent in this year's Draft, selecting Missouri's Ennis Rakestraw with their second-round selection. With this decision, the Lions are once again fostering a competitive environment in their secondary.

Arnold and Rakestraw have already embraced each other's presence and plan to go through the various experiences of being an NFL player together.

“First things first, I’ve got to bring my brother into the cut. They drafted both of us," Arnold said, pulling Rakestraw into his media availability session. "So I would us just coming in here and being the young guys, and the dynamic, we’re gonna be here for a long time. We’re gonna grow together, we’re gonna excel together, take our losses together, take them on the chin. I just thank the organization for drafting both of us. This is my brother right here.” 

The duo of rookies will have solid veterans to lean on, such as Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson. Davis brings winning pedigree, having won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in his career.

For players like Arnold and Rakestraw, these mentors will be very valuable presences as they begin their careers.

“Well, I’m happy we’ve got guys like Carlton Davis," Arnold said. "Him reaching out to me and obviously him winning a Super Bowl and just being somebody that can teach me how to be a pro. I think I have a good relationship obviously with the core group of DBs. Even talking to my boy B.B. yesterday, Brian Branch. It’s fun, it’s exciting, I’m excited to go out there and make plays with them.”

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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.