Detroit Lions: HBO’s Hard Knocks premiered Tuesday night -- what are your thoughts?

Jamaal Williams #30 of the Detroit Lions laughs during the Detroit Lions Training Camp at the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on July 29, 2022 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Nic Antaya, 2022 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Episode one of HBO’s Hard Knocks featuring the Detroit Lions aired Tuesday night, and it taught us a lot about our football team and the direction it’s going in.

For the first time, we were able to see what the Lions’ atmosphere was like, not just on the field but in the locker room, and we found that it’s a collection of fun and toughness.

READ: Laughs, tears, and tackles: 7 takeaways from the first Detroit Lions episode of Hard Knocks

Having fun

We heard the rumors about Aidan Hutchinson singing Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, but we hadn’t seen the reaction from his teammates.

Their reaction made him go even harder during his performance, and it ignited the nation.

The same goes for rookie Malcolm Rodriguez, who had to outperform Hutchinson’s dance moves, so he dug deep into his family’s history and brought out the salsa moves for his teammates, who, too, felt the salsa spirit.

Rodriguez showed his quick feet weren’t just meant for dancing as he flashed on the big screen when he blew up a screen pass in the Lions backfield, which sparked the intensity between former players turned coaches, Duce Staley and Aaron Glenn.

The camaraderie and brotherhood are something Lions fans didn’t know existed before episode one.

Toughness and grit

The team is built on toughness and grit, which Dan Campbell is preaching, as he has it plastered in the Lions’ facility in Honolulu blue.

“What are we?” said Campbell. “What makes us what we are and what we’re going to be? I think it’s that right there. I think it’s grit. It’s what we started with last year guys. It’s our core foundation.

“What does it mean? I think it means we’ll go a little bit longer, we’ll push a little harder, we’ll think a little deeper and a little sharper. To me, it means we’ll play you anywhere. We’ll play on grass, we’ll play you on turf, we’ll go to a (expletive) landfill. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if you have one (expletive) cheek and three toes, I’ll beat your (expletive).”

(M)otor (C)ity (D)an (C)ampbell has a way with words, but it’s his heart that makes him a leader or men.

“It’s a trickle-down effect, in my opinion,” said linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard. “Even myself: I thought about cutting my hair, to be honest with you. Dan was one of the first people to say, ‘Absolutely not. I’m hiring Kelvin Sheppard. I’m not hiring a guy that you think is supposed to fill that position.’ When you’re able to do that, it’s a trickle-down thing, and now the players feel that.”

Letting guys be themselves is what Campbell has been preaching to his staff and players like Jamaal Williams, who sparked one of the most inspirational speeches we’ve ever heard.

Williams spoke to Good Morning Football about MCDC and how great of a coach he is to have, and how he is a player’s coach.

“DC is just a great coach to have,” said Williams. “He’s a real athletes, players’ coach. I just enjoy him and his energy because he makes it easy for you to want to play for him. He makes it easy for you to get in the mood and makes you want to be part of the team and not go against the grain. I just try to make sure I just try to help out anywhere I can because he and the coaches do a great job keeping us motivated and making football more fun so we just be out there having fun. I’m just grateful for him for letting me be me, and that’s showing the team who I am from the inside.”

Read: What to expect ahead of HBO’s Hard Knocks featuring Detroit Lions

Reaction from fans

Football fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts about the Detroit Lions.

These were some of the memorable moments from episode one. What did you take away from episode one, and what are you looking forward to in episode two? Let me know in the comments section below.

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.