Hakim finds opportunity to standout in Detroit

The Detroit Lions first move this off-season was to increase overall team speed and they did that in March when the team inked Rams' free agent wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim to a five year, $15 million dollar contract.

(Allen Park) – The Lions first move this off-season was to increase overall team speed and they did that in March when the team inked Rams' free agent WR Az-Zahir Hakim to a five year, $15 million dollar contract.  Hakim adds speed and a big play threat to Lions West Coast offense.   But the West Coast offense that the Lions run is nothing like the Rams' style offense or anything that Hakim is used to.

"It is totally different, starting with the terminology," said Hakim.

But learning a new offense isn't going to slow the speedy Hakim down, who runs a 4.25 forty-yard dash. 

"I expect me to go out there and compete like I normally would, playing hard," Hakim said.

Some people around the NFL question why the Lions gave so much money to an unproven starter. Many critics claimed that Hakim was the beneficiary of an outstanding wide receiving corps, and one of the game's top quarterbacks.

Hakim is looking to prove them wrong, and the Lions expect his success in St. Louis to transfer over.

"He's a playmaker, he makes plays," said Lions' head coach Marty Mornhinweg. "If he gets the football with some open field, he's got a chance to make a big play, let alone go all the way."

As far as Hakim's 5-10 size is concerned, Mornhinweg doesn't seem too worried.

"Some of those small-stature guys, they can't carry that skill level and consistently high production into the NFL," said Mornhinweg. "There have been some, but not very many, he's proven that he can."

Hakim just wants to get a chance to show his true talent, and get out of the shadows of all the offensive star power in St. Louis. Hakim biggest reason for coming to Detroit was for an opportunity. 

"I wanted the opportunity to come out here and compete," said Hakim. "You're not playing in the NFL for long, so I think NFL stands for Not For Long.

"I'm still young, I just want to go out there and have fun at the same time I'm doing it, and try to put up as many numbers as I can and yet still try to get a championship and win a Super Bowl."  

Coming off a 2-14 season, many people in the media and around the NFL give the Lions no chance of winning the NFC North and even a lesser chance to make it to the Super Bowl, but Hakim disagrees.

"Anybody has a chance; everybody has a shot in this league today," said Hakim. "No one is scheduled at the top, so everyone has to work hard.

"Everyone starts out even so we definitely have a chance."

Hakim, who is an electrifying player and has proved that he is a scoring threat both at wide receiver and punt returner, knows what is expected of him in Detroit.

"I just try go out there and workout everyday, I know what is expected, I know what I've got to do," said Hakim. "We all know what we have to do collectively so we just want to go out there and compete to the best of our abilities."


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