Lions defensive end Josh Paschal knows how important this season is for him

After a rookie season lost largely to injuries, Josh Paschal knows how important his second season is.

It's often said an NFL player makes his biggest jump from Year 1 to Year 2. All the cliches, how the game slows down, the all-encompassing benefits of pure experience, etc. apply. Josh Paschal's rookie season was impacted early by his recovery from hernia surgery, delaying his debut, then a knee injury largely limited his role late.

The second-year Lions' defensive end has been clear about how simply being healthy this offseason has been good for him. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn backed up the sentiment. If the Lions' defense is going to improve noticeably this year, Paschal will surely be among those who took a step forward.

This is not a "make-or-break" year for Paschal. But if he struggles to stay healthy, and/or makes minimal impact, the bust narratives may start to come out.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Paschal knows how important his second season is for him.

Lions' Josh Paschal ready to prove himself in Year 2

Paschal again noted the sheer difference being healthy makes compared to last year at this time. Then, via 97.1 The Ticket, he got right to the point when asked if he's eager to prove himself this season.

"Definitely. Just because I know what I’m capable of."

"I knew that last year, but now it’s time to prove it. I know that I have to prove myself and I’m ready for that, I accept that challenge," "Most importantly I gotta prove it to myself first, because I know that I’m able to do this stuff and now it’s about going out into games and doing it.""

Josh Paschal

Paschal notably stepped right into a starting role when he debuted as a rookie, playing at least an 81 percent snap share in each of his first three games. Then he had two sacks, with four total tackles and two tackles for loss, in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears. Hopefully the list of his highlights is far longer this season, and he's ready to make that happen.

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