New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell could not sleep the night before the first day of training camp.
It is certainly expected that Campbell & Co. will have increased excitement, as they embark on the challenges of building a roster and putting together effective schemes on both sides of the football.
“My first thought was, ‘Man, I didn’t sleep at all.’ But that’s OK because I’ve got plenty of energy without sleep," Campbell told reporters Wednesday.
The early portion of training camp will be an "acclimation period" in which each NFL team is required to conduct the first four days of practice with helmets, but without pads or any contact.
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Campbell revealed what he intends the outcome to be after the first few days of camp, before the team is fully allowed to suit up in pads and conduct tackling drills.
“I think just making sure that these guys truly get their legs under them," he said.
Campbell explained further, "Look, they’re in really good shape, but now here we go. Everything is football movements, explosive movements. Now, you’re going to be blocking somebody in front of you or shedding blocks and working on your releases. You can train a certain way, which is good, and they have. But, until you actually play football for an hour and a half after a walkthrough, it’s a two-hour practice, but 30 minutes is basically a walkthrough."
To get his team acclimated, the starters will not participate in a ton of reps the first couple days of camp.
"We’re going to have 40 reps these first two days total. That’s between three groups. That’s not a lot. Our starters are going to get 16 reps. When the season comes, they’re going to play 60 plays, 65 plays, 70 plays. We’ll work them in," Campbell said. "They’ll have some individual, get their legs under them. We’ll be able to schematically get our system in, because we’ll have the afternoon walkthrough, as well. Let’s get their legs under them, and get them used to this a little bit, because next week, we’re rolling.”