Competition breeds success.
For the Detroit Lions and head coach Dan Campbell, that means promoting competition in just about everything they do.
It starts on the football field of course, but Campbell said he's trying to promote a competitive environment throughout the entire Allen Park training facility, whether that's a heated Cornhole game in the locker room or a hotly contested free-throw contest behind the practice facility. Campbell wants competition to be a big part of daily life for the Lions.
We saw a glimpse of that last Sunday during the final rookie minicamp practice held in Allen Park. Toward the end of practice, on one field the offensive skill position players and defensive back seven participated in a race around tackling dummies. On the other field, the big men on offense and defense were squaring off in a game of medicine-ball tennis.
Campbell has assembled a coaching staff with a ton of former NFL players who are very competitive. Campbell joked Sunday when he stopped by to chat with the media that he might have to separate some of the coaches come training camp because of how competitive they can get. That can only trickle down to the players and promote a competitive environment each and every day in camp.
"I've got a feeling you guys are going to get a show in training camp some days because I already know this from AG (defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn), he's competitive as hell," Campbell said. "He's pretty mild-mannered and he knows how to teach, great guy. But man, when you put him in an environment to where it's competitive, he's a little pit bull now and he explodes."
Campbell said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is the same way, and won't back down from a good challenge.
"There's already been a lot of trash talking between both sides, and I'm talking about Aubrey (Pleasant) and (Antwaan Randle) El. That's a good thing. It's going to start with the coaches and it'll bleed to the players," Campbell said. "These guys are going to compete and scratch and claw for everything. I'm telling you, the coaches are going to do it. It's poetry in motion."
It should be a fun training camp to watch in Allen Park this summer. Not just to see how all the changes this offseason in the front office, coaching staff and roster come together, but how Campbell and his staff are going to push these players to compete and have some fun.