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Lions' Teez Tabor uses speed criticism as motivation

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  • By Max Meyer NFL.com
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Who knew the 40-yard dash could even impact football players after the draft?

After setting an NFL Scouting Combine record with a 4.22-second dash, John Ross challenged the fastest alive, Usain Bolt, to a race.

On the opposite end, though, Lions cornerback Teez Tabor continues to face a negative stigma after clocking a time of 4.62 seconds. Now, the rookie cover man is using the criticism as motivation.

"It adds fuel to the fire," Tabor told reporters. "It's like when you tell someone they can't do something then you're basically making them try even harder to do what you're telling them they can't do."

Tabor was a first-team All-SEC pick at Florida in each of the past two seasons, yet his disappointing performance in Indy led to a slide into the second round of the draft. Eight cornerbacks were already off the board when Detroit took Tabor with the No. 53 pick. Yet, he still remains confident in his abilities on the gridiron.

"My strength is football," Tabor said. "I play football. I don't run track. I'm trying out for the NFL. Not the Olympics. So, I'm in a pretty good spot."

As he competes for snaps in a deep Lions stable of cornerbacks -- including Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson and former first-round pick D.J. Hayden -- Tabor is also dealing with another issue in his uphill climb.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported that Tabor badly injured his hamstring in a pre-draft workout with the Lions, which came after he admitted that a minor hamstring issue was the reason behind his slow 40 time. Tabor's hamstring is still bothering him, even though he was able to participate in Detroit's rookie camp this past weekend.

"I'm just working tireless hours in the training room," Tabor said. "We got great trainers. I'm just working really hard right now. Hopefully I'll be about 100 percent by the time training camp comes so I can help the team."

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