T.J. Lang signed with his hometown Detroit Lions last month and was overwhelmed by the response.
“I had to remind people that I’m a guard, and I’m not a receiver,” said Lang, who grew up in suburban Detroit and played at Eastern Michigan. “I’m one of the blue-collar, lunch-pail guys. I’m not going to make a play on Sunday that is going to be a difference in game. But hey, it’s been awesome.”
The Lions singed Lang to a three-year, $28.5 million deal in March and got him way from NFC North rival Green Bay. He started 13 games last year for the Packers and started in 94 games over his eight-year career in the league with same franchise.
Lang had hip surgery in the offseason and has been encouraged by his recovery.
“The goal is still to be ready for training camp,” Lang said.
And, Detroit’s goals are higher than Lang expected. The Lions won nine games last season and made the playoffs for the second time in three years, but extended their postseason losing streak to eight over 25 years.
“This is a team that I view that we’re ready to contend,” Lang said. “In the building, I was very happy to see the expectations were high. Nobody is just satisfied with making the playoffs. We want to win the division. We want to have a perfect home record. The goals are much higher than I would’ve thought being on the outside looking in. That was definitely a good sign.”