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Darren Fells is easy to spot on the practice field. The veteran Lions tight end is 6-foot-7 and well-muscled, and almost always talking or smiling at someone. Back in Detroit for a second stint, Fells brings size, blocking prowess and a history of red zone productivity to the Lions.
He also brings some flair, something he hopes he can impart upon young star TE T.J. Hockenson. Fells loves what he sees in Hockenson’s receiving ability and attitude. The touchdown celebrations, however…
“I can help him with his celebrations, because those are pretty bad right now,” Fells laughed after Thursday’s practice.
Hockenson scored six touchdowns in 2020 but didn’t impress Fells, who played for Houston in 2019-2020, with his celebratory gestures.
“His whole big thing was he just catches it and falls down, pops up, and throws the arms up. So anything is better than that,” Fells said. “We talked about seeing what his dance moves are. I haven’t taken him out to a club or anything due to COVID, so we’ll see if he has those kinds of moves. Right now, we’re just trying to figure out what looks good to him.”
Fells can also help Hockenson get more chances to practice the celebrations in games. The big vet caught 11 TDs in his two years in Houston, and he has 21 career touchdown catches amongst his 123 receptions. That includes three TDs in 17 catches for Detroit in 2017.
The duo should blend together nicely. Fells can see how already after just three practice sessions in minicamp,
“He’s more of an F tight end–faster, moving around, receiving–and I’m more of a Y tight end, where I can go in there and do a little bit more of the dirty work. Had the conversation with him already, that if we’re both in there, I’ll be like an extra lineman for him to give him time to get open, so he can bump that touchdown total up to 12.”
That would mean a lot of dancing, or whatever they come up with as a celebration.