The grind of summer at the Detroit Lions training camp has been familiar: relentless sun, endless drills, and the same faces to spar against each day. The monotony, a staple of every NFL training camp, is about to receive a refreshing jolt of energy. The Lions are rolling out the welcome mat for the New York Giants in what promises to be an exciting week of joint practices, culminating in the preseason opener on Friday.
“I’m pleased with where we’re at, and these next two weeks are going to be critical,” shared Lions coach Dan Campbell. He added, “It’s a fresh look at somebody else and I love that because camp – you’ve got to be careful. You get into the same routine, the rut, the mundane and you don’t really ever go.”
Dan Campbell believes this will invigorate his squad, providing them with a fresh perspective and competitive intensity. He revealed:
it’s all about pulling the most you can out of these guys and getting real good, high intensity, or volume work… but also know we’re about to have two physical practices against the Giants in pads, so I also want them to be – to get their legs back under them, get their bodies back and be ready to go for those two because those are important.
What to Expect
Fans shouldn’t expect a full reveal of the playbook during these practices or the preseason opener on Friday night. Instead, it’s the passion and performance of individual players that’ll be the focal point. It’s a proving ground, particularly for those players teetering on the edge of the roster. Third-stringers will vie for more time, and second-team players will look to gain trust of the coaching staff and solidify their roles before the regular season.
As Campbell explains, “You will see men competing all over the field.” From those on the roster bubble to 2nd string players making their case for more critical roles, every snap counts.
I love it because from an offensive standpoint, like (Giants Defensive Coordinator Don) Martindale’s going to give us everything we can handle. We’re going to get every look you could possibly imagine. It’s going to be chaotic. Guys are going to be – their heads’ going to be spinning, which it’s our job to calm them down, but it’s just going to be unbelievable – and it’s different talent, it’s a different look, a different talent that they haven’t seen. They’ve been going against their own guys, so it’s going to be unbelievable.
Giants: A Litmus Test for the Lions?
The upcoming practices will be a meeting of two progressive minds as Campbell and Giants head coach Brian Daboll converge in Allen Park. Daboll was the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year, holding a reputation for innovation and fostering a deep connection with his players.
The New York Giants, coming off a reasonably successful 9-7-1 season, aren’t here just for a friendly tussle. Their notable wild card win over the Minnesota Vikings and their revamped roster— re-signing RB Saquon Barkley WR Darius Slayton and bringing in talents like TE Darren Waller and WR Parris Campbell — keeps them in contention. NFL enthusiasts are eager to decipher if the upcoming season will see them soar or stumble.
The Week Ahead
For fans itching to catch every snap and tackle, here’s a breakdown of the schedule:
- Tuesday, August 8: Joint Practice with Giants at 10:30 a.m. ET in Allen Park.
- Wednesday, August 9: Second Joint Practice with Giants at 10:30 a.m. ET in Allen Park.
- Friday: Preseason Opener, Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson spoke about the joint practices’ role in elevating their game. “It’s the urgency, it’s the intensity… the competition just goes up, goes through the roof,” he said.
Amid the high energy and inevitable skirmishes, one underlying hope remains consistent: player safety. The intensity of joint practices, while beneficial for preparation, carries the risk of injuries. It’s a fine balance to strike, and both teams will be looking to walk that tightrope perfectly.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Original Photo Credit: © Vincent Carchietta – USA TODAY Sports