Detroit Lions minicamp was brought to us by the word ‘intensity’
By Robert Jones
Matt Patricia has a more no-nonsense approach to how he trains his players and prefers the ‘old school’ idea of correcting his players on the spot with both the verbal lash and physical punishment, as many times this week individual sessions came to a halt for the defense or offense to run sprints due to mental mistakes made during practice.
So with that in mind, is Patricia in danger of losing his team even before the offseason activities are over?
The truth of the matter is that only the players in the locker room can really answer that question, but it is a fair one to ask. Especially in this day and age.
Back in the days of yore when Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers, he did so with an iron fist. It was his way or the highway. He expected perfection in every aspect of what his players did. Whether it was running sprints or practicing the famed Packer power sweep.
His players were often frustrated or felt overworked by his approach, yet as Hall of Fame guard Jerry Kramer revealed to the press after his playing days, it was alright for the players to be angry at Lombardi or even complain to each other about him. However, much like a family setting, it wasn’t okay for others to say anything about Lombardi.
He was their leader. He was the ‘old man’, as they referred to him, and no one else was allowed to disparage him. They also understood that he was the reason the Packers were a dynasty.
That was then, this is now.
The modern day athlete is given much more slack then ever before. Some would say they are ‘coddled’. I’m not sure we can ever truly say that any player working their tail off in the sun, sweating away during practices, with or without contact, is really coddled.
Yet the modern day player is definitely a different breed than the players of yesterday.
Today’s players have better training facilities, more fame and certainly much more financial presence in the game then in the past.
The question every modern day coach has to find an answer to is; how to best use what limited practice time and contact they are allowed to have with their players in the offseason and training camp?