Reporting Ashley Dunkak
By Ashley Dunkak
Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria keeps on catching touchdowns, and he keeps on dancing.
Sunday against the Cleveland Browns turned out to be a banner day in both respects as Fauria provided entertainment after each of his three touchdown grabs. While the dancing probably gets more YouTube views, the touchdowns obviously mean the most to Fauria, a rookie who went undrafted.
“Being young, you’ve got to work your way up and earn that trust, timing,” Fauria said. “I just talked to the quarterbacks this past week. They’re finally getting used to how I run routes because you know I’m a little longer guy, I’m not choppy. I stride out a little bit. Earning that trust with Matthew [Stafford] is tremendous, and that’s the reason why it happened today.
“I have a quarterback that can throw the ball whenever I need it,” Fauria said. “With my background with basketball and volleyball, going up and getting the ball wherever it is and having the awareness and body control and stuff like that, I just try and make plays out there.”
While Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson made it into the game after sitting out the previous week with a knee injury, he did not figure too prominently into the game plan. The mere presence of Johnson still made an impact, though.
“Having Calvin Johnson, one of the greatest of all time, being in the lineup next to him is just a trip, no matter what,” Fauria said with a laugh. “He does open things up. With him on top, [running back] Reggie [Bush] in the backfield and Matthew, everything opens up, and it gives other guys like me a chance to take care of those opportunities.”
Fauria did exactly that, and as usual, in addition to corralling touchdown passes, he danced afterward. The first display, he said, is something called the “gas pedal.” Evidently Fauria’s version looked different than the original, but he seemed satisfied with the execution.
“Well, I couldn’t do a handstand and twerk,” Fauria said. “I probably didn’t do it as well as I could have, but I was just really happy, and that happens sometimes.”