Dan Campbell has a quick trigger. If he sees something he doesn’t like, he addresses it immediately. Proof of that is the latest news surrounding Lions linebacker Jamie Collins.
According to his sources, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Lions are exploring trade options for the ten-year vet. It should come as no surprise following Campbell’s Tuesday press conference. After a poor showing in the Lions’ 35-17 loss to the Packers on Monday Night Football, speculation arose about his place in the defensive rotation. And because of that (and Alex Anzalone’s play also), Campbell had to field questions on if rookie Derrick Barnes would see more playing time soon.
“I thought – like I say, Alex wasn’t perfect,” said Campbell. “But I thought he was all over the field and made a lot of plays. I thought he was – he played with a lot of energy. I think he was spot on with his calls. Look, he’s high-effort. He’s high-effort, he’s smart, he’s kind of what we’re about here. I liked where he was at.”
“Jamie, look, Jamie had some mistakes. It wasn’t, certainly, his best performance and, yeah, I think Barnes deserves a shot.”
The Lions selected Barnes with the 113th overall pick (4th round) in this year’s draft out of Purdue. He’s shown flashes of being a threat, which has made a strong impression on coaches. Campbell addressed Barnes’ role in the defense yesterday and if he’d see more snaps down the line.
“We’ll talk about it tonight. (Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG and I, we’ve already – like, last night, we spoke a little bit. This morning we did, and we’ve been just – man, we’ve been in-game planning just trying to get everything down because we got the players in tomorrow.”
“But tonight, we’re going to really sit down and say, ‘Alright, this is how we’re going to – this is how we want to handle it.’ So, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself as to exactly what it’s going to look like yet.”
With Collins restructuring his Lions deal earlier this year, it certainly makes trading him easier from a financial standpoint. As the Lions look to move away from Collins, Barnes will have his work cut out for him this Sunday.
The Lions’ defense has struggled over the first two games. And the Baltimore Ravens, led by former league MVP Lamar Jackson, will be a tough test for them, especially with a rookie linebacker expecting to see significant time. However, after Collins’ effort on Monday night, it’s safe to surmise Dan Campbell was ready to give his rookie a shot.