You may remember last year that the Detroit Lions kicked off the Dan Campbell era with the entire defensive roster doing a bunch of up-downs to open training camp. The idea, stemming from defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, was to help build unity and a new identity in Detroit.
“He had said it the night before in the defensive meeting,” Campbell explained last year. “After my meeting, he goes in there and sets the tone with what they’re doing. He tells them, ‘We’re starting a tradition here, guys. We’re doing 40 of them things.’”
Well, if you thought the Lions forgot about it or moved on with a culture now set in Detroit, you must not know Dan Campbell. On Wednesday morning—the team’s first training camp practice of the 2022 season—the Lions head coach was out there with all the healthy Detroit defenders, doing those up-downs with everyone.
Last year, several players remarked about how impressed they were of Campbell to join in on the initiation.
“To players, it just shows he’ll get on the grind, too,” Michael Brockers said last summer. “You gain a lot of respect for a guy that can get on that grind, get on this turf and do the same exercise as you.”
Of course, Campbell wasn’t the only coach going through the drills. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard, and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant—and others—all hit the ground before practice officially began. Just one of the perks of having a staff full of former players not too far removed from their playing days.