Amon-Ra St. Brown is one of many rookies to watch this upcoming NFL season. A standout from USC, St. Brown had a strong junior season as he finished with 41 receptions for 478 yards and seven touchdowns in six games for the Trojans. St. Brown was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and is expected to compete with Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams for a starting wide receiver job in training camp.
St. Brown has the potential to be one of the impact receivers in this rookie class, and already has a lot going for him as he heads into his first training camp. St. Brown recently announced a partnership with Unite Health Share Ministries, a Christian health care nonprofit organization, becoming their community ambassador.
"I just love the holistic approach that they do regarding health insurance and it's different than most companies," St. Brown said. "They see more than health insurance. They're worried about the person as individual, their spirituality and whatnot."
As St. Brown prepares for his rookie season, he sat down for a one-on-one interview with CBS Sports to discuss his experience with the Lions as his NFL journey begins.
The first part of the offseason is in the books. How is the NFL lifestyle different from what you experienced in college?
St. Brown: "It's not that much different. As I rookie, I kind of felt like it was deja vu -- freshman year of college. You get in, you get to do a little more than the older guys. Learn the playbook over again, being in a new place, you get comfortable once you're there for a while. New people, new teammates, new coaches -- just like college all over again. I love being in Detroit.
Dan Campbell has had quite a few interesting quotes since he's taken the job. Does he act like that on the practice field?
St. Brown: "He's an awesome coach. He's very high energy, a fun coach to be around. Very involved with the team and a fun coach to be around. His motivational speeches are something to get us going for the day. He's a fun coach."
Did Campbell joke with you guys about bringing a lion to practice?
St. Brown: "(Laughing). He hasn't said that to us."
Has the coaching staff approached you about early playing time and any expectations in the offense this year?
St. Brown: "Not at all. OTAs were a time to go out there and learn a new playbook. It was an opportunity to show the coaches what we can do as players. Getting them to trust all of us, so it's a process. I'm trying to do my best right now and put my best foot forward."
St. Brown: "I haven't asked him yet, but I will when I see him. So far, he hasn't told me anything crazy. I know what kind of brother he is. If he doesn't tell me anything to look out for, he thinks I should be fine."
How is it going feel playing him twice a year?
St. Brown: "It's going to be fun. I really never had the chance to play him because he was a few years older than me. To finally be able to play against him -- it's going to be surreal."
What are the expectations you set for yourself in your rookie year?
St. Brown: "My expectations, well, goals are a better word for me. I set my goals real early, where I'm on the depth chart and on the team. It really can change from there, whether I'm playing or I'm on special teams, a role player or starting. I'm just going to see how training camp goes, and once the season approaches I'll set some new goals."
How's your chemistry with Jared Goff so far?
St. Brown: "I love Jared. He's awesome, awesome dude. Great quarterback who understands the game. He's taught me some things about certain routes and things Cooper Kupp did with him back with the Rams that he loved. He checks in on me. He's actually out here in Los Angeles now, so we'll try to link up and catch some balls.
"He's a great quarterback who knows the game. I can't wait to play with him."
What advice has (Lions wide receivers coach) Antwaan Randle El given you since you joined the Lions?
St. Brown: "He's another awesome coach. He played in the league for quite a bit, so he understands things. Having a coach that has actually played the position is nice, because they actually understand what we're going through out there. It's one thing to say what to do, it's another thing know when to do it.
"He really understands the struggles we go through. Watching tape, he gets how to coach."
I grew up watching Duce Staley. We raved about him in Philadelphia. What has your experience been like with him?
St. Brown: "So my good friend on the team, Jermar Jefferson, Duce is his coach and he tells me he loves him. He's a tough coach, but I think a lot of players like tough coaches. It's nice to have a coach that's tough because he shows he really cares about you.
"All the running backs love Coach Staley."