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Notes: The Athletic gives fantastic behind-the-scenes profile of Dan Campbell

Coffee and tobacco uncut. Gelato by the pint for a night-time snack. Teacup Yorkies. They are all part of what makes Dan Campbell one of a kind.

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Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

In year’s past, I would not have been thrilled about the Detroit Lions being the featured team on HBO’s annual rendition of “Hard Knocks.” As we all know, the Lions have not been very good for sometime, and from the years 2018-2020—the prior head coach in Detroit would have shuddered at the thought of camera crews constantly being around.

Fast forward to the summer of 2022 and things are much different. Coach Dan Campbell has been at the helm for more than a year now, and there is a palpable energy surrounding Detroit heading into the season.

Dan Pompei of The Athletic gets into Campbell’s baking techniques, his plan to no longer sleep at the office, and so much more in this in-depth look on what makes the Lions’ head coach tick. You can read the full article here.

Beyond the attention-grabbing quotes and race car helmets, Campbell is a former 11-year vet in the NFL and someone that players gravitate to. They understand that he has been there. He has grinded through the seemingly endless days of training camp, dealt with nagging injuries, and can empathize with those fighting for playing time or a roster spot. For NFL coaches, it isn’t necessary to have walked the walk in the league, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

When he steps in front of the room to address the team, everyone takes notice. “Everyone,” Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson told Pompei, “perked up in their seats.”

He speaks with energy, and from the heart. Some of that energy is intrinsically wired, while some of it likely comes from his caffeine and tobacco intake. “My coffee and my tobacco, I want to taste it,” says Campbell. “No cream or sugar, and I don’t want wintergreen. Straight up.”

After more than a year as head coach, he feels more contained, despite being no less excited. He’s still authentically Dan Campbell, at all times.

“I’m still being me, excited as ever,” he says of his excitement over football. “But I don’t always feel like I’m going to rip my shirt off and run around. Once you’re in it a year, you have a feel for what it is. You can keep your emotions in check.”

I’m not sure any amount of time as head coach would be able to keep him fully in check, because, well, Dan Campbell is Dan Campbell. And he isn’t sorry about that.

And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • Some background on Josh Adams, the comedian featured in the latest episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Eric Woodyard of ESPN has more on on the Detroit-based performer.

Eric also dropped another article today on how quarterback Jared Goff worked with his private coach this offseason to make some changes to his footwork.

  • Nate Tice of The Athletic takes a look at young players that are currently ascending towards big-time snaps in the Fall, and a Lions’ defensive lineman makes the list.

  • The Lions have set up a community for fellow gamers, and at first glance, it looks really cool. Free to play and they already have several tournaments open for registration. I signed up for the NBA 2k23 tournament on PS5—in case any of you want that work.

  • Malcolm Rodriguez aka “Rodrigo” continues to gather supporters, this time garnering some national love.

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