Slade Norris joins Lions
Slade Norris was on the sidelines Thursday at Ford Field for the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving Day, 27-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers - and not just as a spectator.
As a member of the Lions.
The former Oregon State defensive end has been signed to Detroit's eight-man practice squad.
Norris, 26, flew from Portland to Detroit for a personal workout session with Lions coaches, 'and they said, 'You're not going home,' " he said.
'I went through some linebacker drills, and I guess they liked me,' said Norris, a fourth-round draft pick by Oakland in 2009 who also has NFL experience with Seattle and Jacksonville.
Norris watched with interest as the Packers jumped in front of the Lions 24-0 en route to improving to 11-0. Detroit remains in the playoff picture as a wild-card contender at 7-4.
'We beat ourselves,' Norris said. 'Taking nothing away from Green Bay, but we made a bunch of mistakes that could have changed our game.
'I'm just real excited to play them again at the end of the (regular) season.'
Norris watched as Detroit's Ndamukong Suh, the Grant High grad who was the NFL's rookie of the year last season, was ejected after stomping on the arm of Green Bay lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Suh 'is a real emotional guy,' Norris said. 'He just got a little out of control. He made a mistake. I know he likes to make it a physical game, to crush the opponent, but there's a time to do it, and that's between the whistles.
'He'll have to learn a little bit about timing. He's real nice off the field, but he sees red once that ball is snapped.'
Suh narrowed his choices to Oregon State and Nebraska before choosing the Cornhuskers out of Grant, and told the Portland Tribune he considered transferring to OSU after his sophomore year when Nebraska made a coaching change. That would have paired him with Chicago Bears' rookie Stephen Paea in the middle of the Beavers' front four.
'How great would that have been for me?' Norris said. 'We'd have had one of the best D-lines in the country.
'Suh's athletic ability, put together with his strength, is scary.'
Norris will play outside linebacker in Detroit's 4-3 system. He has no idea when or if he will be activitated.
'But I know it's good to have a job again,' he said.