Watch: Dan Campbell’s proud locker room address to the Lions after beating the Packers

Watch: Dan Campbell’s proud locker room address to the Lions after beating the Packers in Week 18

Dan Campbell earned his reputation for being an emotional coach with his fiery, intense introductory press conference. He’s never wavered from showing the intensity and player-friendly attitude in his first season in Detroit, not even in a 3-13-1 season.

Campbell’s Lions finished the season 3-3 in their final six games by beating the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers, 37-30, in the Week 18 finale at Ford Field. After the game, the Lions coach proudly addressed his team in the locker room.

This is why the players fought for Campbell all season. This is why it’s not hard to see bigger and better things for the Lions once the roster improves and (knock on wood) stays healthier in 2022 and beyond.

From the Lions:

 

 

Nice finish, coach!

Amani Oruwariye thanks Lions fans after going on IR on Christmas day

Oruwariye thanked the Lions fans for all the support and encouragement after his season ended on Christmas day

Lions fans sent the love to Amani Oruwariye, and the cornerback felt it and appreciated the well-wishes.

Oruwariye’s 2021 season came to an end on Christmas day when the Lions placed the third-year cornerback on injured reserve with a thumb injury. Fans immediately took to social media to wish Oruwariye a speedy recovery and thank him for a very good season. His six interceptions is good for third in the NFL and Oruwariye has been a beacon of reliability in coverage in a sea of constantly changing personnel around the secondary.

True to his good nature, Oruwariye posted a message on Twitter thanking the fans. “Appreciate all the love this year.. Merry Christmas”, Oruwariye posted.

We echo the Lions original tweet. Get well soon, Amani, we need you back and healthy for 2022.

The Cardinals official Twitter account finally acknowledges their loss to the Lions, and it’s great

The Cardinals official Twitter account finally acknowledges their loss to the Detroit Lions, and it’s great

It can be hard to run the social media accounts of a team on the wrong end of a massive upset. Such was the case for the Arizona Cardinals and their social media account during last Sunday’s 30-12 drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Lions.

The Cardinals official Twitter account stopped updating the fans on the scoring, and never once acknowledged the final score. Many Detroit fans took notice and called out the Cards’ cowardice in not ever posting the (for them) humiliating score.

Better late than never.

Whoever runs the Cardinals Twitter finally stepped up and acknowledged the loss. And they did so in a very cool manner, one that even the critics from Lions land can appreciate.

In the spirit of the holiday film, Love Actually, here’s the Cardinals great response.

Not to be outdone, the Lions own social media department kept with the movie theme and showed its appreciation for the good work from their Arizona cohorts,

Very cool from both teams to give fans something to lift their spirits.

WATCH: Jared Goff’s girlfriend had the best reaction to Lions 1st win from her swimsuit photoshoot

Jared Goff’s girlfriend, model Christen Harper, had the best reaction to Lions first win live from her swimsuit photoshoot

Quarterback Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions finally cracked the win column in Week 13. Sunday’s last-second win over the Minnesota Vikings when Goff found rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown in the end zone as time expired set off a joyous reaction all over the Lions fandom.

One of the best reactions came from Goff’s girlfriend, Christen Harper. Ms. Harper is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, and she caught the game-winning play while on location for a photoshoot. Cameras captured her spontaneous reaction and elation at the game-winning throw from Goff and the Lions first victory in almost exactly a calendar year.

Harper’s genuine happiness and pride in her beau finally getting a win is pretty cool to see.

Watch: Lions coach Dan Campbell mic’d up at training camp

It’s a great look at how Campbell interacts with his players during a Lions practice session

Lions head coach Dan Campbell was mic’d up for a recent practice session at the team’s indoor training facility in Allen Park. It’s a great opportunity to see the new Detroit head coach patrolling the practice field and to get a sense of his coaching style and demeanor.

There are fun moments, including the very start where he sheepishly flashes to an assistant that he’s the Lions rep who is mic’d up for the day. Or where safety Tracy Walker gives him a playful push, Campbell responds, “You touching me? You probably broke your hand”.

Positive reinforcement for players is also a recurring theme, and it’s delivered by Campbell in a sincere way that is such a stark contrast to what has been the status quo in Detroit over the last few years.

Thanks to the Lions for posting it on YouTube, it’s a worthy watch.

Watch: Dan Campbell not-so-fondly recalls his 1st job as a chicken cleaner

Lions head coach Dan Campbell not-so-fondly recalls his 1st job cleaning chickens in Texas

Sometimes it’s fun to look back our first jobs. That’s not the case for Lions head coach Dan Campbell.

At the end of his pre-practice press conference on Wednesday, Campbell recounted his first job. It’s not a job anyone would ever aspire to do.

“I worked at a chicken shack,” Campbell said, recaling his days as a 16-year-old in rural Texas. “And I learned how to clean chickens. And I can do it blind, over and over and I will never do it again.”

Campbell continued,

“So I appreciate everybody who does that type of work because it got old quick.”

For the uninitiated, “cleaning” a chicken means snapping its neck to kill it, stripping off the feathers and preparing the bird for cooking.

Campbell then noted he got promoted to working the drive-thru window, but he didn’t exactly fit well. It’s better to watch Campbell explain it as the mic drop to his press conference…

 

Frank Ragnow leads the way for Lions players in latest Madden 22 ratings

The Madden ratings were not kind for the Detroit Lions, but there are notable ratings that are quite interesting among the team

In the midst of the opening of training camp, EA Sports released their latest Madden 22 ratings for every player and team. With the new regime in place, not many people have high hopes for the Detroit Lions this coming season, and it showed with the ratings that were given to the team and players.

With only five players managing to receive an 80 overall rating or higher, the team came at a 74 overall rating, coming in at third-worst in the league behind the Carolina Panthers (73 overall) and the New York Jets (72 overall).

Frank Ragnow comes in as the highest-rated Lion with an 88 overall rating, which was good enough to (barely) crack Madden’s Top-100 players — coming in right at 100. To no surprise, he is the lone Lions representative. Ragnow is easily the best player on the Lions and will be looked upon as a cornerstone for the organization going through a rebuild.

T.J. Hockenson follows with an 85 overall rating, landing him as the 8th-best tight end in the league. That seems disrespectful considering who is ahead of him: Hunter Henry, Rob Gronkowski, and Austin Hooper. None of those three tight ends came near what Hockenson produced last year and it leaves you scratching your head.

Next comes Michael Brockers (82 overall), who will be looked upon providing a veteran presence, especially for the two rookies, Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill, while providing a force up the middle. Trey Flowers comes in with an 81 overall rating as a right outside linebacker, following suit to his position change from end. He will be a player to keep your eye on with the new coaching and see how he responds.

Finishing out the top five lands us in the special teams category with Pro Bowl sensation punter Jack Fox with an 80 overall rating. Fox lit the NFL on fire leading, averaging 49.1 yards per punt, ranking third in the league, and was easily was one of the better players for the Lions last season.

To round out the top ten Lions, Jamie Collins (79 overall), Tyrell Williams (79 overall), Romeo Okwara (79 overall), D’Andre Swift (78 overall), and Taylor Decker (78 overall). Jamaal Williams finishes outside the top ten with a 77 overall rating, but interesting how close the two running backs are rated.

For the rookies, Penei Sewell comes at a respectable 75 overall, landing him eighth among rookies. McNeill and Onwuzurike each earn a 71 overall rating, Ifeatu Melifonwu and Amon-Ra St. Brown receive a 67 overall rating, Derrick Barnes gets a 66 rating, and Jemar Jefferson lands with a 64 rating.

Since these two are tied at the hip with comparisons, Jared Goff comes in with a 77 overall rating, while ex-Lion Matthew Stafford receives an 83 overall rating.

Other interesting rating nuggets for the Lions:

  • Brockers comes in with the highest tackle rating with a 96, ahead of Aaron Donald with a 95.
  • Williams ranks as the third-best back in the carrying attribute with a 97 rating. Also, rates at the 20th-best back in stiff-arm with an 85 rating.
  • Melifonwu ranks as the 18th-best player (95 rating) in the jumping rating, the best among rookies
  • Goff ranks as the 11th best (86 rating) in medium throw accuracy, 12th best quarterback (88 rating) in the play-action category, and short-throw accuracy (90 rating). But comes at 29th overall with an 89 throw power rating.
  • Kalif Raymond rates as the fastest Lion with a 94 rating in the speed section.
  • Ragnow comes in as the 13th-toughest player rating with a 98 overall, but it should be a 99 considering he played with a broken throat.

Lions release latest ‘Inside the Den’ episode showcasing first draft behind the scenes

The Detroit Lions release their lastest “Inside the Den” episode showcasing the sights and sounds of their first draft of the new regime.

The transparency of the new Detroit Lions regime is night and day from the old regime, where they kept everything close to the chest in hopes of not reviling secrets to other teams. It is a breath of fresh air to see this regime explain their thoughts and feelings towards how they are looking to build this team from essentially what it feels like from the ground up.

With the latest Inside the Den episode, the Lions take you inside their War Room during draft day to experience firsthand the time, preparation, and excitement that came with this regime’s first draft.

General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell were not as nervous as you would think for two individuals running their first draft. Holmes praised the scouting department and all the parties involved because they felt they were well prepared for any scenario that may rear its head during the draft.

After the Cincinnati Bengals took Ja’Marr Chase, the War Room had a good feeling that Miami would go after one of the Alabama receivers, leaving Penei Sewell ripe for the picking for Detroit. The tension was so strong waiting to see what Miami would do, and even though there were trade offers, Holmes felt comfortable enough to stay put. After it was announced Miami selected Jaylen Waddle, the room exploded with raw emotion and excitement and could not have worked any better for a team looking to build this team back up.

After the Sewell pick, Campbell mentioned to Holmes, “That’s a cornerstone pick right there, Brad!”. Holmes could not agree more.

Offensive line coach Hank Fraley was so excited; he told them, “I’m going to come in there and kiss you guys.” Fraley had a strong previous relationship with Sewell when he tried to recruit him at UCLA and has since kept that relationship and now gets a chance to coach him and build an impressive offensive line.

Opening up Day 2 of the draft, the phone got the better of Campbell, mentioning the Saints probably tried calling, but there are 80 lines to this phone and probably hung up on them or how they heard it was Campbell and hung up themselves. Either way, it was a feel-good moment showing the fun and humor this regime has shown so far in their tenure.

It was mentioned before Holmes was close to trading back into the first to draft Levi Onwuzurike because they felt he would’ve been long gone before the Lions could snag the versatile defensive tackle. Holmes received invaluable advice from John Dorsey, who has had his hand in many drafts and told him to sit tight, trust the process, and let the board come to you.

There was a quiet excitement when the Buccaneers selected Joe Tryon, another Washington defender, instead of Onwurzurike at the end of the first round, leaving the possibility they may have a legit shot on drafting him. Sure enough, the board fell exactly how they wanted, and with a little willing it into existence from Campbell; the Lions selected one of their top players.

With the Lions receiving corps left in disarray, many thought the Lions would’ve walked away from the first two days of the draft with a receiver including Owner Sheila Ford Hamp. With their first third selection and notion Holmes was looking at Alim McNeill, she mentioned to Holmes, “What would we do if we don’t get a receiver out of this draft?” Holmes explained to her, “You know we still have the USC kid. We will still be in a position to get one because of the depth at that position.”  So from the looks of it, it wasn’t only the fans and media concerned about the receiver conundrum.

Heading into their second third-round selection, Holmes and Campbell mention one player who was literally waving and jumping up and down and their draft board. That was Ifeatu “Iffy” Melifonwu. The team was shocked he lasted this long in the draft, thinking he would’ve been gone in the second round with his size, athleticism, and hip fluidity that screams starter material.

One interesting nugget with the Iffy selection was a phone call Holmes received during the process. During the call, Holmes said, “Go down to 130,” Then Campbell added his two cents, “For two futures firsts.” Now pick 130 originally belonged to the Jacksonville Jaguars, coming from the Jalen Ramsey trade. The Jaguars eventually moved up from pick 130 to 121 through a trade with the Los Angeles Rams and selected Jordan Smith. Now the terms or teams were not mentioned on the video, but it may seem the Jaguars were trying to move back up in the third, but the Lions stood pat and took their guy.

Entering the final day of the draft, Holmes received a phone call from Mrs. Ford and told him, “You know everyone wants wide receivers and those skill position guys, but you need those big guys.” It was a phone call Holmes said he would never forget and touched his soul. There were two players the Lions had their sights on, and they were going to make sure they get in position to get their guys.

Holmes put everyone at ease when they selected Amon-Ra St. Brown and considering it was a player they saw in the third round, it looks like they thought he would’ve been snagged at this point. Dorsey added a tidbit admiring St. Brown as one of the better run blocking of any of the receivers in this draft.

When Holmes took the seat, it was brought up how much he values GPS data and analytics in assessing players, along with the scouting intuition that led the Lions to Jermar Jefferson. According to Holmes, Jefferson has the third-highest telemetry play speed from all running backs showing up his home run potential in breaking off long runs.

Another fun nugget came from no one other than Campbell, mentioning he will break out his inner gymnast if they could get Sage Surrat as a free agent by doing some backflips. Now the Lions were able to sign Surrat, but unfortunately, there were no backflips.

It was mentioned many times throughout the video from Holmes and Campbell that they could get players they loved by sticking with their draft board and letting the draft fall to them. Holmes handed out many praises for the scouting department and the personnel who had a hand in the process in what was a collaborative effort in making this possible.

Holmes went on to say, “Sometimes in the draft, the decision gets made for you.”

With some of the picks, it sure looks like the Lions stuck to the guns, made the necessary moves when it came to, and walked away with players they feel like they can contribute immediately and set the team’s foundation.

Watch: Lions coaches check out Ford Field for the first time

Watch: Lions coaches check out Ford Field for the first time

In their ongoing movement towards being a more transparent and fan-friendly organization, the Detroit Lions broke out the cameras and captured the reactions of the new coaching staff entering the home of the Lions, Ford Field, for the first time.

It’s not a new experience for coach Campbell, of course. Campbell played for the Lions from 2006-2008 and also visited the stadium as a member of the Dallas Cowboys before that. But it’s his first time as the man responsible with leading the players onto the field.

It’s a good look at the new coaches and how they interact. Owner Sheila Ford Hamp is with them, as is team president Rod Wood. The cameras also follow the staff to the Henry Ford Museum.

Thanks to the Lions for peeling back the curtain a little more on the folks who run the team and a chance to get a better feel for them as people, not just names.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfACykpK-9A

Watch: Matthew Stafford offers a fantastic farewell video to Detroit

Stafford says goodbye to Detroit with great class and emotion

Matthew Stafford’s trade to the Los Angeles Rams is now official. The longtime franchise quarterback of the Detroit Lions has moved on.

But before he left, Stafford showed incredible class and respect to the Lions, the fans and the city of Detroit in a touching, emotional video he released via the Lions.

Thanking the city of Detroit for embracing the “long-haired Texas kid from the University of Georgia”, Stafford goes through the significant moments of his career and his life that have all happened in Detroit.

Just watch it. Appreciate it. Maybe have a box of tissues handy…

Thank you, Matthew Stafford, you will always hold a special place in Detroit!