Apparently the Detroit Lions run a lot of wind sprints now

ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 10: First round draft pick Ezekiel Ansah
ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 10: First round draft pick Ezekiel Ansah /

Months ahead of the Detroit Lions first regular season game, Matt Patricia’s regime is already raising some eyebrows due to … extra running at minicamp.

This has been, by pretty much any standard, a very quiet offseason for the Detroit Lions. Yes, they fired/hired head coaches along the way, but that was pretty much set in stone since Christmas.

The biggest free agent signing was a journeyman running back nearing the end of his career. No superstars unexpectedly retired. The first round draft choice was yet another bland offensive lineman. The team’s biggest scandal of this offseason happened 22 years ago. No new uniforms this year either.

The draft is far enough past us to not be a very interesting talking point anymore. Training camp is far enough ahead that it’s not a very interesting talking point yet.

That leaves us with this as the number one issue currently coming out of Allen Park: apparently, the Lions are running a lot more sprints than they have in years past. Talk about First World Problems.

New head coach Matt Patricia is tasked with downloading the ‘Patriot Way’ into a franchise that’s hungry to move from decent to pretty good and beyond this season. Any little secret that he can import from the NFL’s most successful dynasty is welcomed.

Based on early returns, the Patriot Way seems to involve running wind sprints. Not just some, but a lot of them. Not everyone in Detroit is happy about that either. One Detroit Free Press columnist even went so far as to suggest that coach Patricia is “in danger of losing his players” by demanding that they all run.


“Everyone on the line, NOW!”

Anyone who’s played a sport competitively beyond the peewee level can probably recall at least two or three hilarious horror stories involving wind sprints. For example, mine include:

  • Running ‘gut busters’ for 15 minutes straight at basketball practice in high school, then finally getting a water break. The first kid in line puked all over the old drinking fountain and none of us were very thirsty anymore.
  • My Pops changing the name of his most infamous sprints from “suicides” to  “cycles”. This was when once the PC culture caught up to his conditioning regimen when coaching the middle school basketball team. People weren’t quite as fearful of running cycles as they had been suicides.
  • My teammate Taylor getting kicked out of practice for arguing a call, but somehow the rest of us having to run sprints for it while he waited in the locker room.

Anyway, the point of all that is just to demonstrate the ridiculousness of this ‘story’ appearing in multiple news articles from last week. Wind sprints are probably the #2 most common element of basic team sports conditioning on the entire planet. Slightly behind laps.

Of course everybody hates them, that’s not relevant. Wind sprints are one of the most universally simple and effective ways to build stamina, burn fat, forge discipline, and test mental toughness.

This is seriously something that Lions players aren’t used to?

If that’s the case, then all I can say is, it’s no wonder they’ve only won a single freaking playoff game in the last 60 years.

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Go ahead Matt Patricia, keep having the boys run those sprints. And if they don’t like it, make ’em run some laps. Apparently, that’s all that’s been missing in Detroit for this entire time. Maybe next week we’ll learn that they’ve been stretching too.