How Adjusted Training Camp Actually Helps Lions
The NFL offseason was far from anything the league and its teams had ever previously seen.
In-person meetings and workouts were eliminated, while Zoom video conferences reigned supreme.
It's what became necessary as the coronavirus pandemic reared its ugly head and caused day-to-day life to change for billions of people around the world.
Training camp has also been drastically altered for all 32 NFL franchises.
COVID-19 testing has taken precedence over all football activities.
In fact, when players reported to camp Tuesday, undergoing testing for the virus was the first thing they were required to do.
Additionally, each player must test negative three times in four days before they are allowed to begin physicals and permitted to get their hands on practice facility equipment. And after doing so, they will, then, be subjected to daily testing for at least two weeks.
Practicing subsequently has taken a backseat for the time being.
The first practice for each team during training camp is set to take place on Wednesday, Aug. 12 -- almost exactly a month before the Lions' regular season opener Sept. 13 against the Bears.
However, with the preseason having been cancelled, Detroit head coach Matt Patricia believes there will actually be more time to practice.
"You know, the interesting part is if you take out preseason games, which we did, and you kind of buy back some of the time that we usually spend -- whether it's traveling the game itself, maybe postgame, you know -- you actually pick up a couple extra days," Patricia explained during a video conference with Detroit media Friday. "And when you look at the training camp portion of the schedule, the ramp-up period and then, when you get to that training camp practice schedule, we wind up with actually a lot of practice days. There's a lot of time in there for installations. We have, you know, a certain amount of installs that we put in and a certain amount of practices. We actually wound up with a couple more days of practice."
At the same time, though, Patricia wants to make sure he doesn't overdo it with the amount of padded practices he has the Lions take part in.
"I think one of the things that you just have to be careful of, even though there is a certain amount of days that we can be in pads, you know, we're going to have to really take the flow of the team and evaluate it as we go and see where everybody is at, because you certainly don't want to put your team in a situation where you have the pads on maybe a day where you should have maybe taken them off and given the team a little bit of a break before you get back to a real game," he said.
Patricia is a big proponent of the "practice makes perfect" mentality, and now, his team gets more practices to utilize to get ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
A positive has finally emerged for the Lions from the NFL's adjusted training camp schedule.