Dan Campbell Ford Field Detroit Lions NFL Training Camp Video Speech
Dan Campbell ushered in a new era of Detroit Lions football when he took over as head coach ahead of the 2021 season.
In its second season, it seeks to build on the franchise’s struggles throughout its history. He knows the fanbase desperately needs a winning team and he wants to help them bring one.
For the team to be better than the 3-13-1 product it produced last season, it will need to see growth in many of its players. The Lions have a young roster, as the oldest player is 31-year-old Michael Brockers.
Heading into the team’s annual “Family Fest” open practice, Campbell mentioned four players in particular that he watches.
“I’m excited to see what (linebacker Derrick) Barnes is doing today,” the head coach said. “I want to see what Kerby Joseph (rookie safety) does today. You know, Iffy (Melifonwu), what does Iffy look like? I want to see if we can get a consistent, really good, hard day’s work out of Alim (McNeill). There are a number of guys here I’m looking for.
Of these four players, three are entering their second season as pros. Joseph, on the other hand, is a rookie fresh out of Illinois. He and Melifonwu fight over safe play time.
McNeill is seen by some as a potential candidate for Detroit’s defensive line. The portly sophomore from North Carolina State has garnered rave reviews throughout the offseason.
Elsewhere, Joseph and the other Lions recruits see the team’s stadium for the first time.
“It’ll be good for them, and that’s part of it too, (because) when we’re preparing for Atlanta, they’re not there looking around and they don’t know how to stretch or where to go, “, Campbell noted. “That’s what this whole thing is, at least to acclimate them a bit.
Although most of Detroit’s training camp practices were detailed with minute detail, Saturday’s event would have no storyline.
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Campbell expressed interest in how coordinators would handle the game-like unpredictability of practice.
“I really think what we’ll get out of it now, especially for our coordinators, is call and go,” he said. “It’s more like a game for them and then the players, man, they have to be able to react. It’s not a period of running, playing, passing, it’s not a third period of try, it’s all encompassing.
The hyenas better get away
Campbell has been clear about what he wants his team’s foundation to be: courage.
After going viral earlier in the week for the speech he gave to his team about this core value, the 46-year-old was at Ford Field wearing a hat with a single word engraved on it. Squeak.
“It’s a matter of courage,” Campbell reiterated. “Look, we got these (hats) in the spring, I got them for the coaches. It was just part of who we are.
The hats are the latest in a series of gear Campbell has introduced throughout the offseason. He wore numerous shirts with the Detroit area code, 313, and bragged about a shirt Tuesday that read “Anti-Fragile.”
Campbell made waves for her message ahead of last season’s Family Fest. He didn’t disappoint on Saturday either, as he was fired up before practice started.
The Lions leader has always been keen to include the fans and has made it clear that any success of his teams will be due to them. On Saturday, he made that point to a cheering crowd.
“What makes Detroit special is the fact that, man, you’re gonna roll up your sleeves and work hard,” Campbell told fans. “And I think we want to model ourselves after that. I’ll tell you, you would give your coat in the winter to someone who needed it. That’s what this community is all about. However, no one will take advantage of our hospitality, no one.
“It is our raison d’être. This team is working on their backs to give you something to be proud of. They are grinding it right now. I know we are starving. We’re starving, so the hyenas better get away.