Categories
NFL News

Before the first session, Lions coach Dan Campbell couldn’t sleep.

Dan Campbell was so pumped up for his first practice with the Detroit Lions that he didn’t get any sleep the night before.
“Dude, I didn’t get any sleep at all,” Campbell admitted Wednesday morning.
“I have plenty of energy without sleep,” said the former New Orleans Saints assistant head coach, who was announced as the new Lions coach six months ago after signing a six-year contract.
In an eye-catching press conference, he declared the team will be tough, kicking teeth and biting kneecaps off.
Campbell’s zeal is undeniable, but the former NFL tight end also wants to enjoy the process of constructing a champion, and he urged his teammates to seize every opportunity.
At a team meeting Tuesday night, Campbell said, “Enjoy this journey we’re on.”
“We understand this is a high-stress situation, man, and it’s all about winning.”
It’s all about figuring out how to win.
It’s about overcoming hardship,” Campbell says. Campbell has a chance to turn around a team that has endured a lot of adversity over the last six decades.
The Lions have only won one postseason game since capturing the NFL championship in 1957, and that was more than three decades ago.
Over the last 20 years, Detroit has experienced 13 double-digit loss seasons, including the previous three.
With five games left in another disappointing season, the Lions halted their experiment of trying to mimic the New England Patriots’ success, sacking general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia.
The team opted to give Brad Holmes his first try at being an NFL general manager shortly before hiring Campbell.
Holmes spent eight years as the head of the Los Angeles Rams’ college scouting department and began his 18-year tenure with the team as a public relations intern, opting to work for the Rams over the Lions.
Campbell has 11 years of coaching experience in the NFL.
The former Texas A&M tight end played for the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and Detroit Lions for 11 seasons, ending his career with an injury early in the 2008 season, when the Lions went on to post the league’s first 0-16 season.
Campbell, 45, joined his players for part of their conditioning drills at the first training camp practice, looking fit enough to play.
He fell to the ground and swiftly stood up, repeating the movement with the soldiers he is leading.
“A person who can get on that grind, get on his turf, and do the same routines can earn a lot of respect,” defensive end Michael Brockers said.
Brockers, who was acquired by Holmes in a March trade with the Rams, said he likes what he hears from Holmes, who is high-energy and humble.
“Everyone’s buying in,” Brockers said. “You can see a lot of young players buying him correct now because he comes in with the right mindset.”
“He is aware of the situation.”
He expects a lot from us, but he also understands what this grind is all about as a player.” Campbell got his first shot to manage an NFL squad in 2015 in Miami, when he went 5-7 with a 1-3 team before being promoted to interim coach.
For the first time in his career, he is an NFL coach at the start of a season.
“As a player, I was always eager, but this is different,” Campbell said.
“Maybe it affects you harder because it’s your team,” Campbell said, adding that over 80% of the team has been vaccinated.
“We get a few more every day,” he said.
“It’s going in the correct direction.”
C Evan Brown was placed on the active/non-football injury list, while LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Over the offseason, the Lions created a new position and hired mental skills specialist Dr.
Michelle Garvin, who worked at the University of Maryland in a similar capacity,
“So much has come to light on this,” Campbell added, “and that was one of the reasons we hired her.”
___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL ___