Let’s Talk Sports With Kanoa Leahey: Greg Salas Signs with Detroit
By Kanoa Leahey
The former University of Hawaiʻi receiver talks with Kanoa about signing with the Detroit Lions and gives his take on “Deflategate.”
KL: Good. So, you’re in Detroit. You’re about to be wearing the Honolulu blue. How’s it feel to be given another opportunity with this franchise?
GS: If feels great. I really like the opportunity I have here and I’m just excited to get back to work.
KL: Now, you have been with several teams, and what I thought was very interesting was in most of the articles that went out about your signing, it was headlined “Lions Sign Veteran Receiver.” How trippy is that? You’re about five years now into your career, and here you are, you’re an NFL veteran. What does that feel like?
GS: Yeah man, time flies. It definitely does feel like it was just yesterday when I was a freshman at UH. That’s funny to me to hear that because I feel like I just started, basically. I guess it’s a good thing though, so I’ll take it.
KL: Most recently you were with the New York Jets and you played in 18 games over a couple of seasons; 16 receptions; 310 yards; you also scored a touchdown on a carry from scrimmage, but then you ended up injuring your hamstring and wound up on injured reserve. That’s been unfortunately one of the byproducts of your career–is your having to deal with a series of injuries. How frustrating has that been and where are you health wise right now?
GS: I’m 100% now, definitely. So, that’s great news. I just got to keep it that way. Like you said, I’ve had some injuries. This past year was kind of bad timing with all of the injuries. Right when I start to get momentum, and get into more of a roll, I get sidelined by a broken wrist or sprained my ankle or something small always happens that kind of puts me off track a little bit. I’m just hoping to stay healthy for a full season and show that I can really do my full potential for a whole season.
KL: Did you ever have to deal with injuries to this extent prior to your professional career?
GS: No. I never dealt with an injury before at UH. Maybe little things here and there that never held me out of a game or never missed a game my whole entire career pretty much until I got to the NFL. It’s been a little unfortunate, but it’s part of the game and it’s what we deal with and it’s hard to stay healthy for 16 games. That’s my goal though–that’s what I’m trying to do this year.
KL: We’re talking with Greg Salas, former University of Hawaiʻi receiver, now having signed a new deal with the Detroit Lions. You’ve mentioned that time has flown, but you are considered by-in-large a veteran receiver. You’ve been through this process before with other teams. How used to this are you? How do you now approach this opportunity to once again have to prove yourself and to try to stay on and get legit reps with the new squad?
GS: It’s something that I’ve gone through a couple of times for the past two seasons. I’ve proven myself. Once you’re not with a team that has drafted you, you always have to prove yourself. Even when you are on a team that drafts you, the NFL is constant competition. They’re not handing anybody jobs unless you are one of the premiere players in the league, and there are very few and far between. You’re always going to have to prove yourself; you’re always going to have competition. It’s something that I’m used to and I feel like I’m ready for and prepared for. That’s what I train for and I have a lot of confidence in myself to get the job done. I know what it takes and I’ve been out there and seen it all.
KL: When you have gotten the chances to go out there and when you have been put between the sidelines, it seems as though you’ve always been able to make plays. You’ve had a knack for making plays, and I think that–at this stage–goes to show just how much coaches think of you. Because hey, despite the injuries and some of the lack of reps overall, over the course of five seasons, there’s still enough on tape where coaches still like you. I mean, is that kind of how you feel?
GS: Yeah, I hope so. I hope that for the coaches who have had me, personnel talk, coaches talk. It’s a tight knit community in the NFL. I hope that my past performances–although it might be in practice… they know I can come through and I can step up and perform, and be someone you can rely on and count on. That’s what I pride myself on and that’s what I continue to try to show every coaching staff that I’m with is that I’m that type of player. You can trust me.