Lions rookie QB Hendon Hooker (knee) preparing himself mentally at OTAs amid recovery


Instead of taking reps on the practice field, Hooker is earning more of a mental sweat, digesting Detroit’s scheme and making every effort to be intellectually prepared for when the time arrives for his return. That means watching, learning, asking questions and ensuring he’s ready to orchestrate the offense.

“It’s been amazing, just to be out there on the field with the guys,” Hooker said. “Even though I’m not playing, I’m taking mental reps and simulating some things, some calls and some different thoughts in my head, what I’d do in certain situations. So it’s been a blast to be out there and see guys compete and fly around.”

Hooker has a veteran to learn from in Jared Goff, the incumbent starter who turned in a quality season that nearly saw the Lions go from one of the NFL’s worst clubs to a playoff team. Goff’s main priority is to keep the Lions on a path toward success, but he’s also he’s helping the rookie acclimate to the pro game.

“Essentially, he’s an amazing quarterback,” Hooker said of Goff. “Just continuing to learn from him and watch him, watching his footwork, watching how he directs traffic, when he’s in the huddle, just taking command of the total offense. It’s amazing to see him operate, and one day I hope to be on that level and operate as efficient as he does.”

Operating at such a level might mean Hooker could one day replace Goff. The time for that is not now, though.

It’s a surprisingly ideal roadmap for Hooker, considering the time he needs to return from his injury. A succession plan could emerge, but for now, all that will be expected of Hooker is this: Learn the offense and be ready to execute it when called upon.



Source: nlf.com

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