On Thursday, Lions safety Tracy Walker was a guest on 97.1’s Stoney & Jansen with Heather show. From previous reporting and statements made by the fifth-year veteran made it clear very early that he wanted to stay in Detroit in large part due to how he felt about the current coaching staff and front office management. The culture and locker room shift with the arrival of Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell made a big difference in keeping the former Raging Cajun with the team that drafted him; thanks to Thursday’s interview we know just how big.
During the interview, former NFL lineman Jon Jansen asked Walker about the decision to return to Detroit. Noting that the safety could have gotten more money signing elsewhere, the host asked what else factored in. Walker cited the certainty of knowing he loved the coaches and teammates he had in Detroit, familiarity with the scheme, and the feeling of being home and being embraced by the fans.
“For me, man, I don’t try to do anything for all money. The money did play a role in it, but at the end of the day, I didn’t care about the money. I could be somewhere unhappy but could be one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL and that’s not what I’m about. I’m all about happiness and trying to build my legacy.”
Co-host Mike Stone followed up on the answer, pressing for more on how much the new coaches and management mattered:
Stone: “Not to throw shade at anybody else, but would it be fair to say that if the administration and the coaching staff that you had your first two years were still here, you might not have come back?”
Walker: (chuckles) “Naw, I wouldn’t have came back. (laughs) I wouldn’t have came back. Just being honest.”
As pointed out by many observers, the atmosphere of fun and friendly competition makes everything different in Allen Park these days. The energy and positivity flowing from the top down really does seem to be an asset to the organization.
We are pretty sure everyone has seen Aidan Hutchinson’s performance of Billie Jean and Malcolm Rodriguez’s dance moves from the first episode of Hard Knocks. At about 9:20 in the embedded podcast audio, Stoney asked Walker to go back to when he was a rookie and tell their listeners about what he performed as a rookie. From the answer Walker gives about planning and delivering his skits back then, it’s clear how different things are now. You can access audio for the entire interview on the Audacy page for 97.1 The Ticket, so go give it a listen. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- When you add in the guys with ties to Cameroon they really are only one short of fielding a soccer lineup:
An African Pride of Lions walks together in Detroit https://t.co/Ib3eV1qNwZ— NFL Africa (@NFLAfrica) August 12, 2022
The @Lions have 10 players of African descent on their roster, most in @NFL
Motown might have to change to "Pride Rock City"#NFLAfrica #OnePride #NFCNorth #Preseason #GameDay #Naija #Cameroon pic.twitter.com/tl3UiOIQrL
- Our fearless leader Jeremy Reisman always brings you news you can use:
- On his latest podcast episode, Tim Twentyman had Lions edge rusher Charles Harris and some guy who wore number 20 in the 1990s as guests on the show.
- Hat tip to Justin Rogers at the Detroit News for spotting this pretty cool interview moment about the late touchdown on Friday night from the Falcons:
- Edward Pevos at MLive wrote about the selection announcement of the 17 members of the 2022 Detroit Lions Cheerleaders.
- This short video from Brett Kollmann (by way of The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner) is a great example showing why specific athletic traits are kind of a big deal: