Dan Campbell held his first regular-season press conference Monday as the work for Sunday's Week 1 matchup against San Francisco at Ford Field is under way in Allen Park. The Lions are conducting a walkthrough Monday. Campbell said the game plans for Sunday will be given to the players in full on Wednesday.
Here are the key questions from Campbell's Monday presser:
How did the Lions come out of the long Labor Day weekend with Monday's COVID testing?
"We came out good," Campbell said. "We are happy about that, for sure."
That's certainly good news to start the week.
Is running back D’Andre Swift ready to go Week 1?
Swift missed a chunk of camp with a groin injury, and Campbell expressed some concern a week ago about his complete readiness for Week 1.
Campbell admitted Monday that the team is in a better place regarding Swift than they were a week ago. Detroit is now honing in on an opponent and how they want to attack them, and Swift is expected to be part of that plan.
What jumped out about San Francisco as they started to watch tape and prepare for Sunday?
The first thing Campbell mentioned was All-Pro edge rusher Nick Bosa, who is expected to be full-go Sunday vs. the Lions after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.
Campbell said new 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is putting his own flavor on the 49ers' defense. Ryans' defense is a little more aggressive with an attacking style. Campbell said San Francisco is strong defensively at middle linebacker and in their secondary.
Offensively, Campbell said there are very few coaches in the league that do a better job on that side of the ball than Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers are loaded with weapons, especially with All-Pro tight end George Kittle back in the mix after an injury-plagued 2020 season.
What will be the biggest challenge for the Lions' young defense?
The 49ers throw a lot of "eye candy" at a defense, as Campbell described it.
"They'll do the fake sweeps, the fake jet sweep motion and try to pull your eyes and see if you're undisciplined," Campbell said. "Are your eyes going to follow him?"
Shanahan's offense does a great job of getting a defense moving one way and then bringing the fullback or other weapons the other way that slice defenses on the backside of the runs.
Detroit's linebackers and secondary have to be very disciplined on the misdirection this week. The play action pass is built off all the run motion, so Campbell said stopping the run first and foremost will make the day a lot easier for his defense.
How will Detroit prepare for possible packages featuring 49ers first-round pick, quarterback Trey Lance?
Campbell and the Lions are heading into the week assuming Shanahan will have some packages with the speedy and athletic Lance to throw at them.
"We'll make sure we've taken care of some of that," Campbell said. "We've been working that style of offense a bit in camp. Our defense has seen it."
What can we expect from a great tight end matchup?
George Kittle and T.J. Hockenson are two of the best tight ends in the NFC, and both are expected to be a big part of the offensive game plans for each team Sunday.
"I'm hoping our guy has a lot better game than his guy does, I know that." Campbell joked.
Campbell has a lot of respect for Kittle because Campbell said he's one of the rare players at the position that can do everything and do it well. Kittle isn't afraid to do the dirty work in the run game, but he is also dynamic in the pass game.
Hockenson is the same kind of player, in Campbell's opinion, and Campbell said they have to find ways to get him the football. Sunday should be a fun matchup for tight ends.