Sam LaPorta has made history to start his career with the Detroit Lions. With 679 yards and six touchdowns so far this season, LaPorta has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL as a rookie. That fact hasn't prevented him from staying grounded.
Following a 33-28 win against the New Orleans Saints, which featured his 140-yard outburst, LaPorta was asked when he would reflect on his impressive rookie year. The answer? Not soon, in order to stay motivated.
"After the season ends. You don't want to get caught up and all that. It just kind of muddies your vision and and it clouds your vision for the team and the success that we hope to have moving forward."
In another show of humility, LaPorta chose to defer credit for what he's been able to do to others.
"I think I'm surrounded by a lot of great people. Great teammates, great coaches, great support with my family and friends They just they tell me to do what I love. I love playing football, and when it's not a chore, it doesn't really feel like a job. You're just out there with your buddies running around. It's great that we're having success. It definitely helps make you want to work harder when you're having success and adding value to the team."
It is not a stretch to say LaPorta's work ethic and mindset are driving him to succeed as quickly as he has.
Dan Campbell: Sam LaPorta making rookie transition 'look easy'
As a former tight end, head coach Dan Campbell knows the rigors of the position LaPorta plays and has been impressed with his rapid adjustment.
"It's not easy to play this position as a rookie and to do all we're asking him to do. Because he does it all. Run game, protection and you see the pass production. That's what everybody sees. Nobody has any true idea of the other stuff he does for us. That's what a tight end does. I'm glad he's ours. He just keeps growing. He doesn't say a word, just goes to work. He's hard on himself, but he never gets down. He never feels sorry for himself. When he makes a mistake, it drives him. In critical times of the game, he always show up. It's not easy, but he's making it look easy."
LaPorta has a fan in Campbell, and it's not just because of the plays he has made, but the humility and hunger he has shown.