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The Detroit Lions finished in last place in the NFC North in each of the last four seasons.
Dan Campbell is ready to change that, even if it means shaking the dirt out of his pants.
It wouldn’t have been an episode of Hard Knocks with the Lions if the head coach didn’t take center stage, and his electrifying speech after a preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons set the tone for Tuesday’s show, which also included joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts ahead of their preseason contest.
Campbell’s histrionics and energy once again caught the attention of social media:
“This last bit of losing has got to get outta here.” 😤
📺: #HardKnocks with the @Lions airs tonight 10pm ET on @HBOMax pic.twitter.com/5fyllUFChM
NFL Films @NFLFilms
Shake your pants 👖#HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/BwWw6LGyv3
Detroit Lions @Lions
Protect Coach Campbell at all costs. One hour until #HardKnocks!
🎥 @nflfilms pic.twitter.com/8tTYqdqRQa
Matt Miller @nfldraftscout
If Dan Campbell would record a 10 minute preworkout speech and sell it…he’d make millions.
Detroit Griot @JustCallmeBHunt
Dan Campbell might be seeing Mike Tomlin as the best game speech coach. He can fire you up!#HardKnocks
Malcolm Hart @MrHart__
Me whenever I hear a Dan Campbell speech #OnePride pic.twitter.com/wIUlpMLhQR
Shannon DeVido @shannondevido
I will never write a lead character as perfect as Dan Campbell on #HardKnocks. @Lions
Zach Brunner @FantasyFlurry
LOVE Dan Campbell using props 😂 #HardKnocks
Tuesday’s episode wasn’t all about the head coach, as undrafted rookies Obinna Eze and Kalil Pimpleton earned some shine. Whether it was Eze’s backstory about finding his way in football even though he wasn’t familiar with the sport when he came to the United States from his home country of Nigeria or Pimpleton’s juggling skills, they both had their moments.
Whether those moments will eventually lead to a spot on the roster remains to be seen, and anyone familiar with Hard Knocks knows becoming too attached to those on the roster bubble can sometimes result in disappointment.
NFL Films @NFLFilms
[email protected]_Peezy on X games mode 🤣#HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/PdJSMEY9Lu
Hustle Belt @HustleBelt
Kalil Pimpleton is about to carry this episode of #HardKnocks like he is carrying these footballs. 🔥☝️ pic.twitter.com/wUp92Seyre
Josh Graham @JoshGrahamRadio
Kalil Pimpleton was that dude at Central Michigan. I can’t believe he didn’t get drafted. #HardKnocks
Jeffrey Wright @JWright929espn
This does not feel good for Eze. I’ve seen this story before.
There’s your Hard Knocks bubble guy 😬 hoping for the best for Obinna Eze, gonna be a tough road to try to make the roster.
It all built toward Detroit’s time with the Colts, and few moments stood out more than running backs coach Duce Staley losing his voice amid the intensity:
16 Days Till NFL Football @BostonConnr
Can’t tell if we need Duce Staley to get his voice back or not, sounds electric either way
Duce Staley right now pic.twitter.com/TpQR3wvkza
Gabe Kuhn @G_Kuhn71
I have no idea how the Lions RB’s kept a straight face when Duce Staley was giving them a lost-voice ass chewing.
That’s real self control right there.
Brad Galli @BradGalli
Duce Staley lost his voice and still chewed out the Lions running backs. 😳 #HardKnocks
Fortunately for the Lions, the hard work in the joint practice paid off. They bounced back from the loss to the Falcons with a 27-26 victory over the Colts to get into the win column with the season approaching.
Godwin Igwebuike’s touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the Lions ahead, and the defense stopped a two-point conversion at the end to preserve the win.
The backup quarterback race was also a key storyline in the game since Jared Goff didn’t play. Tim Boyle went 12-of-15 for 99 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while David Blough went 16-of-22 for 76 yards, one touchdown and one pick as he put his fumble against the Falcons behind him.
Throw in Pimpleton and Eze making plays, and there was plenty for Lions fans to feel good about with the final preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers looming. That contest will surely be spotlighted next Tuesday when Hard Knocks returns to HBO and HBO Max at 10 p.m. ET.