Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell admitted last offseason he made a rookie coaching mistake waiting too long to set up joint practices in training camp when most teams had already scheduled them.
It was a mistake Campbell wasn't going to repeat.
This year, he set up joint practices with the Colts in Indianapolis ahead of their Week 2 preseason game in August.
"I just think you get two real good days (of practice)," Campbell said. "It's a change in intensity going against another opponent. Sometimes even as intense as you try to make your own practice, just to be able to go against a different opponent just levels the stakes. Levels the intensity. You need that.
"Their bodies need that – the competition – just to raise the stakes a little bit goes a long ways for your guys. So to be able to get two really good days against them, and then certainly the preseason game, I think it changes up training camp, but it also raises up the intensity and competition."
Speaking to reporters Saturday ahead of Detroit's open rookie minicamp practice, Campbell also touched on the recently released schedule, a schedule that has the Lions as the only NFL team without a primetime game.
"It's awesome, one o'clock games," Campbell said. "Knock them out and you go home and get ready for the next opponent. You're not waiting all day in the hotel ... then you're on a short week it feels like. So, I got no problem."
View photos from Day 1 of Detroit Lions rookie minicamp on Friday May 13, 2022 in Allen Park, Mich.
Campbell did note the NFL's flexible scheduling rules, which could still give the Lions a primetime game later in the season.
Flexible scheduling for Sunday night may be used twice between Weeks 5-10, and during Weeks 11-15 and Week 17 for teams to be flexed into primetime. In weeks of the season eligible for flexible scheduling, the games listed for the Sunday night window are tentative and subject to change. Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to a Sunday afternoon. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights.
So, there's still a chance the Lions could play on Sunday night later in the schedule.