Dan Campbell was “fired up” by fight at Tuesday’s practice
Before the Lions’ first padded practice on Tuesday, head coach Dan Campbell shared a story from his first training camp as a player that involved him getting in a fight on the first play of practice.
Campbell said the point of the story wasn’t that he was looking for players to fight during Lions practice, but it wasn’t particularly clear that’s what he meant and he muddied those waters a bit more at Wednesday’s press conference.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu — two of the team’s draft picks — exchanged punches during a special teams drill on Tuesday, which led to a question for Campbell about his reaction to the fisticuffs. His reaction wasn’t one of dismay.
“Yeah, I mean, I was fired up,” Campbell said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “Because they were competing, man. It was good to see both of them, two young bucks, go after it. They were, uh — look, we had a pretty good idea of Amon-Ra, you know? The Sun God? What he’s capable of? His aggressiveness shows up — it would show up on tape — in college. Look, this guy will mix it up. And there’s things you see with Iffy in school, but I didn’t quite know. And to know he’s got, ‘Hey man, I’m not your punching bag,’ that encouraged me, it really did.”
Campbell added that he’s not in favor of full-squad brawls that disrupt the entire practice session, but that smaller scraps “make you practice better” because it makes you want to go as hard as you can to beat the other guy. He also said he wants players to remain “under control” because you can’t win if you aren’t, so Lions players will have to figure out just where the line is for their new coach.