Lions' Tabor won't let speed issue detour NFL start – The Detroit News

Lions’ second-round draft pick Teez Tabor ran a 4.62-second sprint at the combine.(Photo: Daniel Mears, Detroit News)

Allen Park — By now, you probably know Detroit Lions rookie cornerback Teez Tabor ran a slow 40-yard dash leading up to the draft. In fact, the 4.62-second sprint is probably the only reason he was still on the board when the Lions selected him 53rd overall in the second round last month.

The talk about his speed, or lack thereof, bothers Tabor. He openly admits that. It bothers his mother, too. She designed shirts for family members and friends to wear at his draft party which read, “Press play, watch the tape.”

The point, which Lions general manager Bob Quinn agrees, is Tabor’s film shows a talented football player, regardless of what the stopwatch read at the combine.

“I play football, I don’t run track,” Tabor said. “I’m trying out for the NFL, not the Olympics, so I’m in a pretty good spot.”

He also understands there’s nothing he can do to quell the criticism other than prove his detractors wrong on the field. So, if it’s OK with you, Tabor would like to table the talk about his speed for a couple years, until after he’s had an opportunity to prove himself.  In the meantime, he’s going to use it as motivation.

“It adds fuel to the fire,” Tabor said. “When you tell somebody they can’t do something, you’re basically making them try even harder to do what you tell them they can’t do.”

But if you were looking for an excuse for the unexpected sprinting struggles, injury might have played a role. And while Tabor wouldn’t directly pin his time on it, he acknowledged his hamstring has been bothering him for a while.

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