ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson and I sat down for a live chat Wednesday afternoon, and in reading through the transcript a little while ago, I was reminded how many thoughtful and informative answers he provided. (I guess it slipped my mind after struggling to keep up in my role as a typist during the chat.)
So while we have a moment, I wanted to pull out some highlights of our chat for the full blog consumption. Below, you'll see Burleson's thoughts on Lions receiver Patrick Edwards, his 2013 plans for post-touchdown celebrations and how seriously he takes his role as a mentor.
On who his veteran mentor was as a young player with the Minnesota Vikings:
Nate Burleson: "Marcus Robinson. He came over from Chicago. We were competing for the starting wide receiver job opposite Randy [Moss]. He helped me transition into that spot. He was older and it should have been his. His advice was that there is enough food on the table for everybody to eat. Don't be selfish. If you give back to the NFL, the NFL will give back to you. I'm the same way now. Even if a guy is brought in to take my job, I'll do whatever I can to help him. Football gods will sort out the rest."
On if he has planned any touchdown celebrations yet:
NB: "You know, I haven't to be honest. I spent the majority of my offseason trying to bounce back from this injury earlier than expected, but the truth of the matter is, I practice all of my celebrations in the hotel the night before the game. We have plenty of time for me to come up with something good. And trust me, I plan on scoring a lot this year."
NB: "… They are two very different skill sets. Williams a traditional big body tight end. He has got big hands. Knows how to position his body well. He is very versatile. He can block out of backfield and be used as an extra lineman also. Fauria, he is everything he looks to be. Extremely tall, big hands, and he plays like it. Runs like a giraffe. We've thrown some balls up to him that absolutely no one on the field can get to except maybe Calvin [Johnson]. Not too many defenders can match that. Him and Calvin have probably caught the ball the best in this camp."
On quarterback Matthew Stafford:
NB: "Matt has always had a strong arm and that's what people think about with him, that and his toughness. This year, the biggest difference is his leadership. He has become more and more verbal as he's gotten older. He has such a strong hold on this team from a leadership perspective. He's demanding certain things from us as an offense and a team, which is good. He's still the same QB from an attribute standpoint. But I think his maturity in knowing this is his team is what is the biggest difference."
On which young player has impressed him:
NB: "Patrick Edwards. I was a big Patrick Edwards fan last year before he messed up his hamstring. One, his college stats were through the roof, which raised one eyebrow. Then when I saw him run first-hand, see how fast he is, that raised the other eyebrow. So somebody giving back to him and teaching him how to be a pro could elevate him to a premier receiver in this league. In my eyes, he is going to be the surprise player that changes games this year. For those in fantasy football, pick him up! For the fans who love the Lions, start telling people now that you're a Patrick Edwards fan so it doesn't look like you're jumping on the bandwagon later."