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First day of Lions training camp: What Dan Campbell had to say

Dan Campbell
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 12:32:05-04

DETROIT, Mich.  — Dan Campbell is in his second year as head coach of the Detroit Lions. He kicked off training camp by addressing the media, talking everything from injuries to expectations, while of course, eliciting some laughter. Here's what he had to say:

  • Injuries, but improvements
    • Defensive end Josh Paschal had a version of a sports hernia. Campbell said he is doing well, will still be a little bit before he is able to play, but is doing good and most importantly, is progressing
    • Defensive end Romeo Okwara is doing well, but with an Achilles injur everybody heals differently and at different rates. He’s progressing, but as far as a trajectory, its not necessarily steep.
  • Forging the team's identity
    • "I told the team last night our identity and who we are, and our foundation is all about grit. That’s physical, mental toughness and that means taking it one day at a time. That means going a little longer and pushing a little harder, thinking a little deeper, a little sharper, those terms. So, I think when we think that way and we just worry about what’s in front of us, everything else will – it will play itself out. So, I’m not worried about that.”
    • Believing in Jared Goff: "All you can do now is work"
    • Campbell says he feels a sense of urgency in his starting quarterback and that Goff has a very realistic grasp on how last year went and what the expectations are for him going forward. Campbell said he comes to meetings he doesn't have to, goes beyond the work that is expected of him, and is eager to learn and get the help he needs to improve.
    • "I would say he’s more comfortable at this time than he was last year. A lot of that has to do with what we’ve done offensively, I would say (Lions Offensive Coordinator) Ben Johnson has done a really good job with his staff."
  • Expectations from outside of Allen Park
    • Campbell continuously raved about his coaching staff and the guys he has around him in his second year at the helm. He is aware of the "SOL" narrative and some of the lower expectations, but he wants his guys to focus on what's ahead of him.
    • "I want them to know that I truly believe we have the right coaching staff. And I do believe we got enough pieces in here to compete. I really do. And to me, when you’re a coach if you just want to know you got that you do have the pieces to able to compete, and I do feel that way. And now it’s up us collectively to find a way to turn some of those losses from last year into wins. You find way turn – to flip five or six of those games, and all of sudden you’re right there. That to me is what this is about. I think we have enough to compete, and now it’s on us to find a way to close out those games, and that why you asked that question that’s why. In the critical, ‘Can we find a way? Can we find a way to get a little bit better? Can we find way get a little bit better – to pull off some of those wins?’"

  • New season, same energy
    • Campbell is known around the league as being a high energy guy, all the time. His quotes have made headlines on every national sports network and his locker room videos can turn the heads of even the biggest non-believers. When asked what energy he will take into his second season, he couldn't find any other way to explain it other than, that's just who he is.
    • "I just try to be me. I’ve got a lot of energy. I’m excited. I’m enthusiastic. I’m just me. I think that’s what comes out of me, so I think that help those guys. They kind of – believe in me I guess. They feel it. They react off that. I think it helps. I don’t know any other way than just to say that just kind of how I am. Those guys play off of me.”