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First Lions minicamp has a “calm feeling” even without stars


The Lions opened their first minicamp under new coach Jim Caldwell Tuesday, without their best player on either side of the ball on the field.

But while Ndamukong Suh was away while a contract gets sorted out and Calvin Johnson is still rehabbing from finger and knee surgeries, the Lions are far from panicked.

There’s a calm feeling around the building,” 14-year-veteran center Dominic Raiola said, via the Detroit Free Press. “You just get a sense that this guy’s been there, done that. And he has. I mean, look at his track record; but more so being around him, not just hearing about it. It’s fun to be around him and be back in here.”

Caldwell was brought in, in part because of his steadying influence. After the frenetic years of not-much-happening of the Jim Schwartz era, that’s probably welcome to many.

But several players noted the pace of actual work, even without the high-profile stars.

“The energy today was good, man,” linebacker Stephen Tulloch said. “I’ve never been a part of fast-tempo day like this on a first day. Guys are receptive of it and did a good job.”

Caldwell getting the extra minicamp to implement systems and instilling his calmness will help, but keeping those stars happy and healthy will be more important to his success in Detroit.

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13 Responses to “First Lions minicamp has a “calm feeling” even without stars”
  1. darinindetroit says: Apr 23, 2014 8:51 AM

    I think Detroit finally got there guy. A nice team of Caldwell, Lombardi, and Austin. They should complement each other well. Whisenwho?

  2. raideralex says: Apr 23, 2014 9:00 AM

    You and I could go 12-4 with Manning and 2-14 without him.

    Just shows you that, outside of like 3 head coaches, every other HC needs a pro-bowl QB or will lose.

  3. essentialsausage says: Apr 23, 2014 9:09 AM

    Why’d you have to remind me that Raiola is still on the team? Ugh.

  4. annodomini90 says: Apr 23, 2014 9:10 AM

    “Just shows you that, outside of like 3 head coaches, every other HC needs a pro-bowl QB or will lose.”

    Yeah, well if people got the stupid voting correct in 2011, he’d have one!

    ‘Hmmm, let’s see here. 41 TD’s, 5000 yards. Oh 16 interceptions. Nope, not good enough to play in this useless game.’

  5. realskipbayless says: Apr 23, 2014 9:41 AM

    That’s because there’s no one there to stomp on people.

  6. realskipbayless says: Apr 23, 2014 9:45 AM

    I’m not a huge fan of Marvin Lewis but seeing teams hire guys like Caldwell makes me feel a little better.

  7. realskipbayless says: Apr 23, 2014 9:46 AM

    Gym shorts>gym Caldwell

  8. purpleguy says: Apr 23, 2014 10:08 AM

    Admittedly, there is probably no NFL coach that is calmer than Caldwell.

  9. gbmickey says: Apr 23, 2014 11:40 AM

    New coach but same old Lions. Big name players set the example and don’t show for the first camp under new coach, not a good sign.

  10. richabbs says: Apr 23, 2014 12:02 PM

    Jim Caldwell’s the HC. The team all fell asleep!

  11. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 23, 2014 12:10 PM

    Raiola actually played really well last year

  12. radiofriendly420 says: Apr 23, 2014 2:49 PM

    Suh is not at these VOLUNTARY workouts because he is in the middle of a contact negotiation AND because he works out on his own anyways.

    He’s participating in a quality training regimen. He has also been in constant communication with his teammates and coaches.

    To quote Caldwell, he has talked to Suh more than any other player on the Lions prior to training camp.

    Sounds to me like Suh is tuned in and is doing his own thing. Yes, he’s a captain and it’s nice to have your captain at voluntary workouts, but this is being blown way out of proportion by knee-jerk reaction types.

    Calm down, like Caldwell. Suh will show up when it’s time to get going. It’s April. The season begins in September. I think there is time…

  13. lioncrazy says: Apr 23, 2014 7:35 PM

    Heard all this off season crapola before. I don’t care what the atmosphere is, or what they say about this, or that. Unless they win, it doesn’t mean squat!

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