Dan Campbell sets tone, Aidan Hutchinson's moves shine

The long-awaited launching HBO’s “Hard Knocks” including the Detroit Lions struck our screens Tuesday night. And it would not be a surprise if some brick walls are no longer standing after Lions fans went through them.

From Dan Campbell’s desire to drag groups into the deep water and Aidan Hutchinson’s journey to Jamaal Williams’ impassioned speech and the experience (and brotherhood) of the training personnel, fans got an opportunity to see the males in Honolulu blue and silver like never ever in the past.

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Here are the 5 primary highlights from the very first episode of “Hard Knocks”:

Aidan Hutchinson moonwalks onto spotlight

We need to begin with the novice hazing tune of the year, gave us by Aidan Hutchinson.

The No. 2 general select of Michigan football ended up being an over night super star with his performance of a timeless.

Like his novice hazing, when he needed to get up in front of the group in the conference room and carry out “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. He didn’t even get 5 seconds into the tune when he understood he’d ruined, sheepishly leaves, and gets booed by the whole space.

He made it up in a huge method, carrying out an amusing performance of the tune, getting the whole group to sing and clap along as he danced his method throughout the space.

Dan Campbell’s culture

Campbell strolls into the group’s primary conference room at the start of the episode and sets the tone for the season with his 4 guidelines: don’t be late, don’t be obese, don’t disrespect colleagues or the video game.

Outside of that, he stated, anything goes. He leans into the reality that the Lions were bad in 2015 — and have not been for a long time. Campbell discussed what his group will require to do in order to turn into one that’s a puncher and not a tag line.

“What are we? What makes us what we are?” he asked. “I think it’s that right there, it’s grit … it’s our core foundation. What does it mean? In a nutshell I think it means this: we will go a little longer, we’ll push a little longer, we’ll think a little deeper and a little sharper.”

To even more his point, Campbell utilizes the ocean as a metaphor.

“There’s a number of teams that just barely get to the water, you got to get to the water to compete,” he stated. “A number of teams that’s all they get to. Then there’s a number of teams they are in the shallow and they’re all over your ass … they strike and move and they’re dangerous.

“You simply got to obtain them however, however if you obtain them, you begin dragging them out to the deep dark void, you can drown them. And that’s what we got to be. That’s who we need to be. Because that’s our domain. Because we will tread water as long as it requires to bury you. Because we can, since we select to.”

Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the field during training camp drills.

All Campbell wants is his staff and players to be themselves, too. It’s is why Jamaal Williams is free to be as goofy as he’d like and why he told linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard not to cut his hair.

“It’s a drip down result to be sincere with you,” Sheppard said of Campbell’s authentic nature. “I thought of cutting my hair to be sincere with you. Dan was among the very first individuals to state ‘never.'”

“I’m employing Shep,” Campbell said. “I’m not hiring the person that you believe is expected to fill that position.”

MORE: America is going to love Dan Campbell after ‘Hard Knocks’

More on Hutch

The episode touches on Hutchinson’s  relationship with his family, like when Jared Goff introduced himself to Hutchinson’s father, Chris, at the practice facility and said he was doing a good job.

“Don’t be too good to him now,” Chris joked.

Or earlier in the episode, when Hutchinson is sitting around a table with his siblings at what appears to be his parents’ house in Plymouth, Michigan.

“If he does not get prepared by the Lions I will be sobbing on electronic camera,” said his mother, Melissa. “Everyone will believe I’m so delighted he went elsewhere, however no, it would be because I’m so depressed he’s not house.”

They discuss his signature eye black look streaked down one side of his face, to which he says he may need to switch it up because he worries it will mess up that side of his face.

He can’t, says one sister. “It’s part of the brand name.”

From losing many battles to Penei Sewell on the first day of pads, to getting put on his rear from a chip block by T.J. Hockenson, not everything Hutchinson did in the episode was flawless.

MORE: Why German documentary crew is following Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown at training camp

Jamaal Williams’ plea to teammates

At the end of the first day of pads, Williams is tasked with breaking down the team huddle.

He begins by talking about how day one was the bare minimum of effort and the team must give more. Normally a light-hearted guy on the team — he’s constantly dancing on the sideline, making jokes and talking about anime — his tone shifts.

“When you believe you’re tired, consider in 2015 and consider that (curse) record,” he said. “Every time I believe I burn out or I believe I can’t go any longer, I consider that (curse) record.  That ain’t us! We can make it! … Have some heart. I get psychological about this, I’m about to weep, since I appreciate y’all.

“Last year wasn’t it. Last year got me angry, pissed for this year. I’m trying to be better for y’all. … Remember your why, remember why you play football. I want y’all to give everything y’all got every day. Do your best!”

Aaron Glenn vs. Duce Staley

One of the most amusing parts of the entire program (and throughout all of camp for that matter) has actually been the relationship in between protective planner Aaron Glenn and assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley.

Staley speaks in front of his group and informs them they require to be about 3 things in order to succeed: Grit, dream and love.

He then informs them it’s okay for males to inform one another they like each other since it suggests you appreciate them. The focus  instantly relies on him and Glenn.

“I love you,” Staley starts. “I want to (expletive) you up between those white lines, but I love you.”

That’s basically the relationship in between the 2. Glenn calls Staley “his guy” and among his “closest friends. Staley says of Glenn, “that’s my canine.”

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn applauds for players during open practice at Family Fest at Ford Field on Saturday.

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn applauds for players during open practice at Family Fest at Ford Field on Saturday.

And like brothers, the rivalry comes out on the field. The two are constantly jawing at one another, about how Glenn’s defense can’t stop Staley’s offense and vice versa.

“You desire some we gonna offer you some,” Glenn said.

“We gonna take it, you ain’t gonna offer us (curse), we’re gonna take it,” Staley chirps back.

“We’re gonna offer you whatever you desire,” Glenn yells.

Each time the respective coach’s unit does something well, he lets the other one know, like when rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez made a big hit in the backfield.

“Oh you stopped a screen? I’m happy for you,” Staley said after Glenn got in his face. “I ain’t even understand you was here.”

Then, perhaps the highlight of the two interactions, came after the offense hit a deep pass to Tom Kennedy.

“You forgot to inform them we’re playing today!,” Staley screams.

“You struck one play,” Glenn responds. “And now you wish to (curse) talk.”

Contact Tony Garcia at apgarcia@freepress.com. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.

This short article initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions on ‘Hard Knocks’: Dan Campbell, Aidan Hutchinson shine

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