Former Lion Ashlee Palmer praises Teryl Austin, ready to help if needed
By Matt Urben
I reached out to former Lions linebacker Ashlee Palmer in wake of the team’s many injuries. He shared his thoughts on the Lions’ coaching staff and why he feels he can help the current team.
Ashlee Palmer had a solid career with the Detroit Lions. He was a valuable special teams player for a number of years before playing in all 16 games in 2014. He started five games at outside linebacker that season for the number-two ranked Lions defense. Palmer was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for SideLion Report.
Matt: First off, how are you feeling these days? Do you feel you’re in football shape?
Palmer: I am feeling really good! Definitely in football shape. Working out still, just in case I do get a call.
Matt: What are your thoughts on Lions head coach Jim Caldwell?
Palmer: My thoughts on Jim Caldwell are that he’s even keel. He never gets too high or too low with his emotions towards the game. He knows how to interact with vets and younger players…total players coach. He knows how to get his players well prepared to go into war with whoever is on the schedule.
Matt: Teryl Austin was able to turn an average defensive unit – under former head coach Jim Schwartz – into the number-two ranked defense in 2014, with mostly the same players. How do you think he was able to do that?
Palmer: I think it was more about his scheme than anything. It was new to the NFC North and the variety of things he could throw at an offense was ridiculous. Linebackers blitzed more, coverages were played tighter, and he mixed in more zone and man blitzes. It’s a defense built on its players stopping the run and putting pressure on the qb for turnovers.
Matt: How would you describe Austin’s style as a coach and what do you think makes him successful?
Palmer: T.A. (Teryl Austin) is DEFINITELY the definition of a players coach. He puts all of his players in the best position to make plays using their skill sets. He is the type of coach that tells his players it’s all about the next play after a mistake instead of jumping down your throat during a game. Allows you to just play.
Matt: Do you feel you could help this Lions team this season?
Palmer: In my opinion, I could definitely help while they have injuries. I know the defense and I can definitely contribute on special teams. It would not be hard to get on the same page with the players on defense because I have played with them before. I just think it would be wise to sign me. Their staff knows me well. Especially while they have injuries at LB. I’ve played 6 active years, but mostly on special teams. I have a completely healthy body and I am only 30. Still ready and anxious to play!
Thanks to Ashlee Palmer for answering a few questions! Check out SideLion Report’s Facebook page here for more Lions news and opinions.