Another Tuesday has passed which means another episode of Hard Knocks has been released, but for the Detroit Lions, it was the finale.
Episode 5 took the viewers through the entire process of selecting the 53-man roster and the difficulties both the players and coaches went through. Here are a few of my takeaways:
The Road to 53 was tough
Hard Knocks highlighted the difficult decisions the coaches had to make. It was obvious every cut that had to be made was especially hard on Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes. Every player that came through the door, they emphasized how much the decision “sucks” to make. Campbell even said to Tom Kennedy, “you f***ing earned it,” but it just didn’t work out.
Not only was it hard on the coaches, it was also hard on the players. Some appeared emotional, while most only questioned what they could do better and thanked Campbell and Holmes for the opportunity.
Running Back Race
This episode implied the race to earn a spot as a running back was the hardest decision they had to make. It came down to Craig Reynolds and Godwin Igwebuike with Reynolds eventually earning the spot. When Campbell and Holmes pulled Igwebuike into the room, they told him not to worry because he was definitely going to get his opportunity. Igwebuike had a strong mentality, expressing that he knows he has what it takes.
Throughout all of Hard Knocks the chemistry between the players and coaches has been electric. In episode 5, seeing the way they communicated and treated each other through this hard time really stood out to me. It was very obvious that Campbell cares for each and every member of the team and they treat him with the utmost respect. Jarrad Davis, Kalil Pimpleton, and Obinna Eze were three players that expressed they appreciated Coach Campbell and Brad Holmes and the way they coached and ran the team.
It’s no surprise Malcolm Rodriguez was the highlight in yet another episode of Hard Knocks. This time, they showed him picking out a game day outfit, fittingly from Rodriguez Vaquerita. He said his hardest item to show for is jeans because he has a hard time finding a pair to fit his quads. Rodrigo grew up on a farm with chickens and the whole nine. Expect to see him in full cowboy mode heading into Ford Field on Sunday.
Also heard in Hard Knocks is that Rodriguez is the #2 most requested jersey.
Chase Lucas is a go-getter
Chase Lucas knew there was a possibility he did not make the 53-man roster. This episode showcased his go-getter attitude. He constantly went up to coach asking what he needed to do saying “I can be great” several times throughout the episode. They even showed Coach Campbell saying “You might be able to do this stuff Lucas” during practice. Lucas is a guy that is in it with his entire being. It will be fun to watch him grow throughout the season.
The 2022 Detroit Lions Are…
The coaches are ready for this season. In the final minutes of the episode, the coaches were asked to fill in the blank. The 2022 Detroit Lions Are _____. Their responses were chilling. It’s clear they have a “fight with everything you have” mentality and a will-to-win attitude. Coach Campbell’s answer ended the episode thinking long and hard about his answer. He eventually said, “The 2022 Detroit Lions will be the team that can and will.”
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
Photo credit: Detroit Free Press