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.