In the two previous OTA practices open to the media, Ebron struggled with drops, which has further fueled his critics. To his credit, the young tight end has responded in a promising way this current week of practice. During Wednesday's session, he didn't let a pass touch the ground.
"This week specifically, he's been phenomenal catching the ball and after the catch," Tate said. "The linebackers are having a tough time covering him and even the safeties."
In April, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi noted it's common for tight ends to experience tremendous growth in their second season. He also stated the Lions are counting on Ebron to be the team's third receiving option behind Tate and Calvin Johnson. Tate echoed his coordinator's optimism.
"He's improved a whole lot," Tate said. "We're excited for him this year. I think he's going to be a huge player for us this year."
Ebron turned 3.8 targets into 1.9 catches for 19 yards and 0.08 TD as a rookie. He played half the snaps, so his lack of production is somewhat alarming. Tight end is a tough position to learn as a rookie, so there is some reason for optimism given Ebron's skill set and the investment (a first round pick) the Lions have made in him.