Dan Campbell Says Team Is 'Ahead of Schedule'

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell explains that the strong roster attendance during OTAs and minicamp has put the team ahead of schedule.

The Detroit Lions are ahead of schedule, according to their new head coach. Heading into the final day of minicamp, Dan Campbell says his squad has tackled many of the things they had hoped to work on.

“I can tell you this, it’s been great to have those guys here,” Campbell said. “Because of that, we will be three-to-four weeks ahead of where we would’ve been had we started in training camp.”

Among the concepts Campbell says his team has worked on include first, second-and-third-down work, as well as red-zone and two-point conversions. He said the team plans to work on the two-minute drill on the final day of minicamp.

“Really, we kind of got the core in,” Campbell said. “The core of the offense, defense and special teams we’ve at least built somewhat of a foundation. They actually know what it looks like.”

Following the end of minicamp is a five-week off period before training camp starts. Once camp starts, Campbell said the plan is to expand on the base details introduced in minicamp.

“To be able to know that we’ve gotten that in,” Campbell said. “And now, once we go in to training camp, now we can start to hone in on those details.”

Plans for five-week break

With five weeks to prepare for training camp and the subsequent start to the season, the Lions are creating a plan to keep everyone engaged, while still allowing for the precious family time that won’t be available once camp starts.

“I think for the staff, it’s important,” Campbell said. “I want them to get a little break here. They just need it. The season, it’s long and it’s long hours, and you’re not gonna get to see your family. And, it’s all ball for long periods of time in a day. They need to recharge the battery.”

Among the things Campbell plans to do upon the conclusion of minicamp is move his family to Detroit. However, once that’s done, it’s back to football.

“Once that takes place, I’m gonna spend those next three weeks trying to clean up all the little stuff, as it pertains to this team,” Campbell said.

As far as the players go, next week will focus on the younger guys. Campbell said the goal is to get an extra set of 7-on-7 work in, as well as some limited individual work. He said he expects around 50 players to stick around for the extra week.

‘I don’t have all the answers’

As he prepares to be a full-time head coach for the first time, Campbell has been compiling resources to make himself the best option possible. He has called the likes of Bill Parcells and his former boss in New Orleans, Sean Payton, as well as has hired people he feels will make him better.

“I feel like there’s so many things, man, that you write down when you’re thinking about this role, and I feel like its been answered somewhat to this point,” Campbell said. “When you’re fortunate to know enough resources like I do and be around some great coaches, these things do pop up.”

Campbell acknowledged that he won’t be perfect. However, the key is the synergy with the group around him. There will be times where he doesn’t have an answer, and those will be when he leans on those by his side.

“Look, I’m not gonna sit here and kid you,” Campbell said. “You think I’ve got all the answers? I don’t have all the answers. I’m gonna tell you that. But. I’m confident in my own ability and those around me, and I know what it takes to win. I do. But, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop growing.” 

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