Heading into his second season, Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown certainly is not lacking confidence.
After a closing stretch of his rookie season that saw him be one of the most productive receivers in the NFL, the general consensus is Amon-Ra St. Brown is in line for a decline in production this year. Based on what should be a reduction in target share compared to that final six games last year, it’s easy to predict that.
Maybe too easy.
After being drafted in the fourth round last year, St. Brown clearly has a chip on his shoulder. He kept, and presumably still will be keeping tabs on the 16 wide receivers taken before him.
But that is not to say he lacks focus on what he needs to do, or confidence he can get it done to the level he did last year.
Amon-Ra St. Brown surely does not lack confidence or motivation
Here’s what St. Brown had to say on Friday, Day 3 of training camp, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
"I had a chip on my shoulder coming into this league and it’s not going nowhere for me,” St. Brown said. “The goal of this league is to be consistent, like I said earlier, last year. So for me proving that I can do what I did last year and even more is what’s keeping me going right now.”"
Addressing the idea defenses will key on him this season now that his talent is no longer a secret, St. Brown went further.
"I mean, they still got to stop us, you know what I mean?” St. Brown said after Day 3 of Lions training camp… “I do what I do and you’ve still got to stop it.”"
With additional weapons around him, and better health for a couple key ones (D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson), St. Brown will trade an unsustainably high target share over last year’s final weeks for having more room to operate and hypothetically better matchups.
Even with a slow start last year, St. Brown had 90 catches as a rookie. A better start to his second season and a more consistent campaign overall should land him in that area again, or perhaps even better.