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healthy, and he also indicated that this offseason has bee
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healthy, and he also indicated that this offseason has bee #1
DETROIT (AP) — Mike Cofer Danny Amendola Jersey White , a Pro Bowl linebacker who played a decade with the Detroit Lions and is second on the team’s career list in sacks, has died. He was 58.The Lions said Cofer died Thursday. Cofer’s son Phil plays basketball for Florida State. The school said he found out about his father’s death after the Seminoles‘ victory over Vermont in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Chuck Walsh, a Florida State spokesman, said Mike Cofer had been dealing with a long illness.Cofer played 123 games with the Lions from 1983-92. He’s the only linebacker in team history to reach eight sacks in a season. He did it four times.“Mike was the definition of the perfect football player,” former Lions quarterback Eric Hipple said in a statement. “His attitude matched his ability and he gave 100 percent in everything he did. The same goes for his care and attention for fellow players, fans and people in general. He brought smiles and joy to those he interacted with and was not only a great player, but also a wonderful man.”A Knoxville, Tennessee, native, Cofer played at Tennessee. He was drafted by the Lions in the third round in 1983 Michael Roberts Jersey White , and he was a member of the team that went to the NFC title game at the end of the 1991 season. He received Pro Bowl honors during the 1988 season.He finished his career with 62 ½ sacks.“I was truly blessed to have had the chance to coach Mike,” former Lions coach Wayne Fontes said. “He had such tremendous character. When you heard people talking about a player who always gave 100 percent, it was Mike.”Phil Cofer missed Florida State’s game Thursday with an injured right foot. Coach Leonard Hamilton said he will remain with the team for a second-round game Saturday against Murray State.Hamilton called Mike Cofer “one of the most competitive human beings that has ever played in the NFL.”“He is a guy who had to endure an unbelievably challenging debilitating disease that mentally and emotionally was draining in itself, but the physical toll it took on his body is beyond anything that you possibly could explain,” he said. “And he never complained. He always faced it every day with the heart of a lion, with tremendous amount of courage, and he passed that same mental and emotional aspect over to his son, Phil.”“He always challenged Phil, and he always encouraged him to play with the heart of a lion, and without making any excuses for anything at all. And Phil’s attitude has been as good as anyone that I’ve ever coached in my whole coaching career.”Cofer is survived by his wife Golden Tate III Jersey White , Reba, and sons Michael and Phil. ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Kerryon Johnson’s rookie season was one of few bright spots for the Detroit Lions in 2018.And even that ended sooner than the young running back would have liked.Johnson was limited to 10 games last season, and after the Lions were eliminated from playoff contention in mid-December, he went on injured reserve with knee problems. In the time he did play, he ran for 641 yards, the most by a Detroit player since 2014.The 21-year-old Johnson says he learned a lot from his first year as a pro. He figures to be a big part of any improvement Detroit enjoys this coming season.“It doesn’t take you long to see what you need to do to be in this league, because guys are so good,” Johnson said. “I look up, and we’re playing against Bobby Wagner Marvin Jones Jr Jersey , Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, the superstars of the league. You realize very quickly what you need to do to be successful.”Johnson was available to reporters for a few minutes Thursday, and he approached the session with confidence, unafraid to show his personality. The former Auburn star began his news conference with a message for at least some of the Lions’ fan base.Both Auburn and Michigan State made the Final Four this year in basketball, losing in the semifinals. Johnson said — unprompted — that if the teams had met in the title game, his Tigers would have won by 20.Later, he discussed “Game of Thrones” — although he also dodged a question about whether he’d like the Lions to appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. Whether that behind-the-scenes show features Detroit or not, Johnson has a chance to become one of the Lions’ most popular and productive players.He says he’s healthy, and he also indicated that this offseason has been a little more conducive to working on his craft.“Last year Kerry Hyder Jersey White , I didn’t get this time. Last year, we’re preparing for the combine, all that fun stuff that people like to see,” Johnson said. “You don’t really get a chance to get better in football … really work on your specific skills.”Johnson was asked about the so-called rookie wall, and he had an amusing answer to that too.“Rookie wall hit me, like, fall camp,” he said.Still, he finished second on the team with 118 carries despite missing so much time at the end of the season. Only LeGarrette Blount had more, and he’s a free agent who is no longer with the Lions. The stage is set for Johnson to take on an even more significant role.“I try to prepare every game like I’m getting 30 carries. My last year at Auburn did teach me that Luke Willson Jersey ,” he said. “That’s not realistic, but that’s the kind of mindset I go in with.”NOTES: The Lions announced the signing of DT Darius Kilgo, released RB Kerwynn Williams and waived T Jarron Jones. Kilgo had five tackles in 11 games last season for the Tennessee Titans. He was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2015 draft by Denver. He has spent time with the Broncos and Patriots, and also on the practice squads of the Jaguars and Texans. … Lions head athletic trainer Kevin Bastin plans to step away from the NFL later this month. He is being replaced by Dave Granito.

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