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Notes: Lions’ ‘Inside the Den’ training camp docuseries features amped up coaching staff

Unfortunately not completely new material, but still enjoyable.

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NFL: AUG 10 Detriot Lions Training Camp Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Thursday night, the Detroit Lions posted a new episode of Inside the Den covering the opening of 2021 training camp. You can watch the entire video on the team’s official YouTube channel.

The 12-and-a-half minute video opens with a montage of players arriving for the first day of training camp. Most interesting apparel: Romeo Okwara shaking a tub of popcorn at the camera while wearing a gray Lions logo long sleeve shirt that says “Salty” on the front. The players generally looked to be all business, but you knew fun seeker Jamaal Williams would break out into a spontaneous dance once he saw the camera.

After a little from head coach Dan Campbell at the podium and then on the field with the fans, the video goes right into cuts of camp action and makes great use of mic’d up material and media session tape. There’s a nifty bit at 4:35 that plays an audio quote about all the former players who are now coaches on the Lions staff while the visuals cut to shots of each coach as they are mentioned. The energy of the staff at practice, “living vicariously through (the players) as they make plays” as Anthony Lynn says at 5:11, comes through in the exuberance and trash talking between the coaches as their units beat each other in drills and reps.

Melissa Gonzalez’s strong showing at the Olympics and the Lions’ watch party to cheer her on gets a nod in the video, and the episode finishes with about three minutes from the Family Fest at Ford Field from last Saturday. There’s lots of Duce Staley, lots of Dan Campbell, then some of the Goodell-bot sneaks in there near the end. Even if you’ve already seen the media sessions and the mic’d up videos, this is still a fun watch with slick production values.

Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press wrote about how Lions punter Jack Fox is honoring his late friend and former roommate at Rice, Blain Padgett (subscription required).

  • Here is a graphical presentation of player cap hits across the league by position. Where is there a positional premium paid? Quarterback, wide receiver, and edge rushers I could have guessed, but the really big growth in defensive tackle pay surprised me:

  • Also not Lions-specific but extremely interesting: Tej Seth at Pro Football Focus put together an extensive analysis of running back workloads (from both their professional and college careers) and asked “Do NFL running backs regress?” A particularly interesting section of the article identifies what appears to be a reputation effect tied to draft position.

  • There were some special guests at Lions Training Camp the other day: