Detroit Lions coach and patella gourmand Dan Campbell came in especially hot for his introductory presser this past January, and he seems to have carried that intensity all the way through training camp. His daily morning routine, two large coffees with two espresso shots in each, must’ve helped him maintain that consistency:
On Tuesday, Campbell faced something of a test in his new job. Rookies Amon-Ra St. Brown and Ifeatu Melifonwu exchanged punches during a special-teams drill, although it mostly stopped there and didn’t transform into an all-out brawl, like what happened over at the New York Giants’ camp the same day. Right before Tuesday’s practice, Campbell had been talking about his experience as a rookie when Bill Parcells told him to start a fight, so as a followup this morning, he was asked about how he felt having something similar happen under his own watch. Via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com:
“Yeah, I mean, I was fired up,” Campbell said before practice on Wednesday. “Because they were competing, man. It was good to see both of them, two young bucks, go after it. They were, uh — look, we had a pretty good idea of Amon-Ra, you know? The Sun God? What he’s capable of? His aggressiveness shows up — it would show up on tape — in college. Look, this guy will mix it up. And there’s things you see with Iffy in school, but I didn’t quite know (about his willingness to mix it up). And to know he’s got, ‘Hey man, I’m not your punching bag,’ that encouraged me, it really did.”
Technically Amon-Ra (not the football player) was the merging of Amun, god of the air, with Ra, god of the sun, but close enough. Coach Dan has an astronomical blood caffeine level, and he’s fired up! For whatever it’s worth, St. Brown and Melifonwu kept practicing against each other, and St. Brown said after practice that there were no hard feelings. Still, everything about this incident continues to give me the feeling that Campbell is leaning a little hard on intensity as a gameplan. It’s only August! Save some intensity for the actual games. You can’t reveal your strategy of letting the fullback punch other players. That’s a card to keep up your sleeve for the playoff push.
Campbell comes to the Lions with built-in goodwill, solely because he’s not Matt Patricia. That goodwill won’t last forever. At a certain point, he or someone on his staff will have to call plays.