He did it again throughout the draft, OTAs, and minicamp. And the same energy and passion carried over into the start of the Lions’ training camp Wednesday morning. As Campbell spoke to the press, one thing was clear. He is ready for the season to start.
“My first thought was, man! I didn’t sleep at all. But that’s OK. I got plenty of energy without sleep,” Campbell told reporters Wednesday morning.
As the cool kids say, there was “no cap” (not a lie told) in Campbell’s remarks. Unlike most coaches, he put his money where his mouth is. Along with coaching his players up, Campbell participated in down-up drills with his players to start practice. His participation thrilled Lions’ defensive end Michael Brockers.
“You gain a lot of respect for a guy that can get on his grind, get on this turf, and do the same exercises as you,” Brockers told reporters after practice.
“Because some of the players wonder, like ‘Man, you know, if you was doing this, what would happen?’, you know? And then for a coach to get down there and show you like ‘OK, I’m about this life,’ we definitely gained a lot of respect for him.”
The respect for Campbell doesn’t stop there.
After practice, D’Andre Swift discussed how Dan Campbell and his coaching staff changed the work environment within the team.
“The energy out here is a lot different,” said Swift. “Guys are smiling, [and having fun. You kinda’ forget to have fun playing a kid’s game. You can never forget to have fun.”
“Everybody out there having a good time doing what they love.”
Undoubtedly, many players sharing the same sentiment reflects Campbell’s leadership and a message he shared with his players Tuesday night.
“Enjoy this ride…enjoy this ride we’re on,” said Campbell. “We know this is high stress, man. It’s about winning. It’s about finding ways to win. [And] it’s about overcoming adversity, but man enjoy this ride.”