“Hard Knocks” will soon give Detroit Lions fans a behind-the-scenes look at the organization, but before then, the team gave a behind-the-scenes look at the HBO documentary crew, as well as an early look at what’s been happening at training camp.
In the fifth installment of the Detroit Lions’ “Inside the Den” series, the Lions team shows what it’s been like having the “Hard Knocks” crew around during training camp.
Despite the boom mics clearly hovering over the huddles, their job is to be everywhere yet invisible at the same time. Director Shannon Furman explained their crew is made up of about 35 people who head to practice each day to capture what this team is about. She says this year they have eight or nine cameras, the most they’ve ever had since the series began in 2001. They send the footage back to NFL Films’ headquarters in New Jersey, where a crew of another 35 people piece the episode together.
On the content side of things, Furman says once they learn which club they’ll be covering, they become “FBI detectives” as they learn every single thing they can about every single person on the team, including scoping their social media accounts. They identify “characters” and storylines so they can keep their eyes out for the big moments.
There’s a ton of good stuff in the 20-minute Inside the Den episode, but what I thought was interesting was how taken Hard Knocks is with the Lions supporting staff.
“I’m really looking forward to doing more on the assistant coaches this year than we’ve ever done before. I think they have a really interesting coaching staff here in Detroit,” Furman said.
Director of Photography Ben Johnson explained how they learned in particular how competitive assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn are with one another.
“We had them both mic’d up one day and it was unbelievable — it’s the most fun wire I think I've filmed in a while,” he said.
America isn't ready for our coaches on the mics pic.twitter.com/in1FnEMjJK— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 9, 2022
Besides the whole bitin’ kneecaps shabang, not many folks may know what the Lions are about these days. Furman says when people don’t know what to expect, those typically end up being their best shows.
“People probably don’t totally know what we plan to do here,” she said. “I think we’re able to introduce a whole different cast of humans that no one has any expectations for so we’re able to kind of like surprise people with what ends up on the screen.”
If that weren’t enough, you know the Jamaal Williams speech that went viral on Monday? Well, it turns out that was only a small portion of the entire thing. This video, starting at about the 14-minute mark, has Williams going off for a full two minutes. You are not going to want to miss it.
Watch the full episode below.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- Barry Sanders joined NFL Network’s Shaun O’Hara and explained why Lions fans are excited about the season. He also offered his Pro Football Hall of Fame thoughts on the 18th anniversary of his own induction.
- Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown also joined the show, Inside Training Camp Live. O’Hara asked him about Jamaal Williams: “the way he runs, how hard he runs — you love having a back like that.”
- If you haven’t had the chance to check out training camp, you still have a few more opportunities:
- Some of the bigger catches this week:
- The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed nine new members over the weekend. Here’s a recap from CBS Sports.