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5 takeaways from Dan Campbell's Combine media session

INDIANAPOLIS – Head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Tuesday as a large contingent of Lions coaches, front office staff and scouts are at the NFL Scouting Combine to interview and evaluate 321 of this year's draft eligible players.

Campbell's media session covered a little bit of everything. Here are my five biggest takeaways:

1. Draft, develop and re-sign

It's a philosophy Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes have seen eye-to-eye on since arriving in Detroit.

"Between Brad and myself, the success that we've had in places that we've been has really been that way," Campbell said. "That's what it comes from. You want to be a good team you have to draft well and then you re-sign those guys. That's your core."

Free agency is a tool to fill in the gaps, per Campbell, something Holmes also talked about after the season when he said their priority is to focus on re-signing some of their core players to extensions this offseason instead of dedicating a ton of resources to free agents.

Campbell made a good point a little later on when he talked about how the advantage of re-signing players is you already know their personality and how they fit into the locker room. In free agency, that isn't always the case.

2. Coaching staff continuity

The Lions will return all three of their coordinators in 2024 with Ben Johnson as offensive coordinator, Aaron Glenn as defensive coordinator and Dave Fipp as special teams coordinator. It's pretty rare to have this kind of continuity in those roles for this long and Campbell knows he's lucky to have it.

"The continuity of the staff, the core of the staff, is no different than the core of the players who have been together now since 2021," he said. "To me, that's very important to have. This is the second year in a row I didn't think I'd have them back between (Johnson) and AG and some of the other coaches. We're fortunate."

Campbell said having Johnson and Glenn back puts them way ahead of schedule when the offseason training program and training camp kicks off.

"You've evolved so much over a three-year period when you're all together," he said. "Ben knows exactly what I'm thinking. We're to the point now where he knows exactly what I want and how I think just like I know how he thinks. And AG I feel that."

Campbell thinks they'll be so much more efficient because of the continuity. He joked they can skip from the 101s to the 401s and hit the ground running.

3. Big expectations for wide receiver Jameson Williams

Williams had two touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game and the second-year wide receiver really came on to be a reliable weapon down the stretch for the Lions.

"He progressed," Campbell said. "All we asked of him was growth. Just get better, a little bit better, and become one of the guys. Somebody that we can rely on in this offense. Just do your job and that's exactly what he did."

Williams caught 30 passes for 433 yards and three scores and also rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns, including the playoffs. By the end of the year he was really coming into his own. Campbell has big expectations for Williams in Year 3.

"He is going to push to be a full-time starter and that's what we're looking for," Campbell said. "Everybody grows at a different rate. Maybe it's taken him a little bit longer, but he is developing and growing. The kid has come on. We got high hopes for him and see him continuing to grow."

View photos of the offensive line prospects who were invited to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

4. Interviews are key

There are some head coaches who don't take part in the Combine. They do their homework off the film and reports generated by the front office, scouting department and assistant coaches.

Campbell said he loves coming to the Combine because he likes to sit across from the prospects and learn what kind of player and person they are in the 20 minute allotted interviews. He likes to throw a curveball at a player from time to time to see how they respond.

Campbell knew 10 minutes into talking to linebacker Jack Campbell at last year's Combine that Jack knew ball and could figure things out on the fly. He had a passion about him that fit in Detroit.

5. Happy to have Jalen Reeves-Maybin back

The Lions re-signed the All-Pro and Pro Bowl special teamer to a new two-year deal this week, and Campbell said that was an important signing because he views Reeves-Maybin as a vital piece to the roster.

"He was a core player for us and he was the best special teams player in the league," Campbell said of Reeves-Maybin, who led the NFL with 14 special teams tackles this season. "But also defensively there's things he can do on defense play some nickel and dime, helps on third down, can rush and cover, to be able to get him re-signed was huge."

Reeves-Maybin can do a lot of things and was a key cog this season. Campbell said he's part of their foundation.

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