The Detroit Lions have been picked as a team to watch by both NFL analysts and sports bettors in Vegas, and now the Lions are getting the grand treatment by HBO in the newest incarnation of ‘Hard Knocks’ on the popular premium movie channel.
The first episode, which premiered this past Tuesday at 10 p.m., still has Lions and NFL fans buzzing.
Here’s what we learned about the Detroit Lions after episode one.
1. Aidan Hutchinson’s Development is Right on Schedule-
The #2 overall draft pick and defensive end from Michigan was shown going one-on-one with promising young offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
From the footage we saw and previous reports, Hutchinson has been giving Sewell all he can handle in the trenches, especially on the pass rush.
Hutchinson beat him a few times in drills during the first episode, but Sewell, poised for a possible breakout season, is holding strong.
Aidan Hutchinson versus Penei Sewell is going to be a matchup to watch all training camp long ? pic.twitter.com/zU8dVB6xTV
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 1, 2022
2. This Team Has Great Camaraderie-
Perhaps they were putting on a show for the cameras. Perhaps not. But one thing’s for sure: these Lions really seem to get along well with each other, and are taking the team bonding aspect of the 2021-2022 campaign seriously.
Hutchinson turned in one of the highlights of the show with a performance of Michael Jackson’s classic song ‘Billy Jean’ that seemingly had the entire Lions roster singing and enjoying in unison.
This will be the National Anthem of Detroit if Aidan Hutchinson brings a Super Bowl here! #HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/pQZ3yWsX0k
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) August 10, 2022
3. Jamaal Williams and Dan Campbell Are Master Level Motivational Speakers-
We didn’t see much of D’Andre Swift during the first episode surprisingly enough, but Jamaal Williams gave a speech for the ages.
Head Coach Dan Campbell gave a similar speech just prior to Williams’ that was equally good.
If this episode is any indication, these Lions don’t lack for leaders, with running backs coach Duce Staley also showcasing great leadership abilities and passion for the team’s success.
Let 'em know, Jamaal!
? @NFLFilms | #HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/wwS01EsmOf
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 8, 2022
Williams also shared a great moment with a young fan. Williams is sure to be a fan favorite this season, even with Swift poised for a potential breakout season.
Jamaal Williams: Regular Guy ?#HardKnocks | @jswaggdaddy pic.twitter.com/1hCwdhOsX4
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) August 5, 2022
4. Competition is Fierce Already-
The Lions suited up and began hitting shortly after the start of training camp at the end of last month.
Campbell explained to his players that it’s the best way not only for their physicality and development, but also for injury prevention, even though he sensed some players were caught off-guard by the decision.
Meanwhile, the competitive spirit of the coaches and players was on full display in episode one, as shown by the clip below of Staley and Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn going at each other in a scrimmage.
Coaches just as competitive as the players ? #HardKnockspic.twitter.com/wZLEDg43wl https://t.co/MNK6QfzZ36
— NFL (@NFL) August 10, 2022
5. This Lions Team Uses a Lot of Colorful Language-
The Detroit Lions have got jokes, folks, and they are not afraid to use them. F-bombs galore rained down in episode one, and Dan Campbell has no problems dishing out insults to lighten the mood, as shown below.
Needless to say, it’s shaping up to be an interesting season for Campbell’s squad in his second season in Detroit.
DAN CAMPBELL DEEZ NUTS ALERT ? #HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/TF00OghML0
— Lucas (@LucasAG911) August 10, 2022