Detroit Lions: Dan Campbell may do the unthinkable after 60 years

Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) /
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Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Can Dan Campbell do the unthinkable?

Last weekend the Lions conducted their rookie minicamp. Campbell and his staff were like schoolboys taking the field. They have built camaraderie and the love of the game is present in how they handle their players.

It’s also present in the competition that Campbell expects. Something he was more than willing to comment on to the Detroit News last week. Especially when he talked about the competition he expects from defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

Passion and competition seem to be the rule in ‘Camp Campbell’ not the exception. But isn’t that a big part of the culture change Dan Campbell is trying to build for the Detroit Lions?

Compete at everything with no excuses. One thing that everyone seemed to notice is that the Lions went through their whole rookie minicamp weekend without a single quarterback having been invited to camp.

Instead, former Jacksonville signal-caller and now current Lions quarterback coach Mark Brunell threw some passes during the individual drills. So did former Steeler receiver Antwaan Randle-El who was a quarterback at Indiana University and is currently the Lions receivers coach.

For the seven-on-seven drills, offensive assistant Tanner Engstrand, who played quarterback at San Diego State, stepped up to center and delivered the passes.

Campbell’s rookie camp was mostly about walkthroughs. There wasn’t a whole lot of football competition except the 10 play seven-on-seven drill to end camp on Sunday.

Yet the table is set. The minicamp participants were enthusiastic, just like their coach. The first baby steps of this staff were positive ones that united themselves with their players.

Next week the Lions veterans will arrive for their first minicamp under coach Campbell and his staff. One gets the feeling he may ramp things up just a little more.

One also has to believe that Campbell will continue to weave his magic throughout his staff and the locker room. Sure there won’t be any knee cap biting simply because it’s far too early in the offseason for that, but there will be camaraderie, hard work, and building chemistry that Campbell and his staff expect to follow this team into the locker room and on the playing field.

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The Detroit Lions may not win many games this fall, but it seems that Campbell has an excellent shot at doing the unthinkable; changing the culture of the Honolulu Blue and Silver and building a winning future.