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Roundtable: Lions Minicamp Expectations

Vito Chirco and Adam Strozynski explore expectations for Detroit Lions minicamp this week and more in the latest SI All Lions roundtable.

1.) What did you make of the backlash toward Dan Campbell from the national media? 

Vito Chirco: Here's how I view it: I don't really care how he interacts with the media or how members of the media view him. Because at the end of the day, what matters is his win-loss record. And, if he wins enough games, he's going to shut up all the naysayers from the national media regarding his antics.  

Sure, his approach to dealing with the media is a little out there and untraditional. But, once again, let's see what he does once he puts on the headset and steps on the sideline at Ford Field for the Lions' Week 1 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. That's what I care most about. 

Adam Strozynski: I think Dan Campbell has a lot of personality and is just being himself. If he did this with a team like the Saints, the Chiefs or the Seahawks, it would be viewed differently. 

The Lions haven't won anything, and are the laughingstock of the league. So, it's low-hanging fruit for lazy national media guys to poke fun and have a "strong" opinion on Campbell when he wears a helmet to a press conference, announcing him as the Grand Marshal of the Detroit Grand Prix. 

2.) Are you disappointed the Lions did not sign Todd Gurley? 

Chirco: I'm not. I'd rather have the Lions focus on giving carries to second-year back D'Andre Swift and offseason acquisition Jamaal Williams this upcoming season. So, my thought process is let's see what they can do as a tandem in Detroit's backfield in 2021. 

Strozynski: No. This is a guy who is about three years past his prime, and his knees were past their prime his first day in the league. If anything, it was a smart move not signing him, whether that was his choice or Detroit's. 

3.) Do you think the leader on Lions in total receptions could be a running back this year? 

Chirco: I'm going to say no because of the presence of tight end T.J. Hockenson. I think he's going to emerge as the go-to target for new Lions signal-caller Jared Goff. 

I also think wide receiver Tyrell Williams is going to end up with more receptions than any of Detroit's backs. 

However, I do think that Swift could end up with the third-most receptions on the team by season's end. 

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Strozynski: If this was a bet that could be made on a betting app, I would put all the money in my savings account on it. 

The Lions' wide receivers are below average, and the quarterback's (Jared Goff's) arm strength is below average. However, his underneath and short-passing game are huge pluses. Factoring in Anthony Lynn calling plays and loving running backs, it's almost a guarantee. 

4.) What are you most paying attention to next week for mandatory minicamp? 

Chirco: I think I'm going to most pay attention to how the Lions' first three selections in the 2021 NFL Draft perform (first-rounder and offensive lineman Penei Sewell, second-rounder and defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike plus third-rounder and fellow DL Alim McNeill). 

How many snaps they play and how they fare against the veterans will be very interesting to me. 

Strozynski: How players on the defensive side of the ball are lining up and looking. There is a new scheme being implemented, and some guys will be in different positions. So, I want to see how they react and how they physically look. 

More from SI All Lions:

Joy Taylor Defends Opinion of Dan Campbell, Is Big Fan of Jared Goff

4 Keys to Success for Jahlani Tavai in 2021

Mike Valenti: Dan Campbell Is a 'Cartoon'

Jamie Collins' Absence from OTAs Explained

Duce Staley Wants Lions' Running Backs to Bring 'Juice' on Football Field