Detroit Lions on SiriusXM 2018 Training Camp Tour: Part one: Introduction

SiriusXM NFL Radio concluded it’s 2018 Training Camp Tour on Wednesday, August 15th. Their second-to-last-stop was in Allen Park to visit the Detroit Lions.

This is the first installment in a series that covers that show.

For three weeks each year, crews from SiriusXM NFL Radio go on tour and visit each training camp in the NFL. This week’s stop was in Allen Park where they spent Tuesday and Wednesday observing practice and interviewing coaches, staff, and players before airing the show live and online. Hosts Alex Marvez and the godfather, Gil Brandt, were on hand to learn and tell us about the Detroit Lions.

I’ve actually spoken to Gil a number of times. He is always gracious and extraordinarily knowledgeable. Gil worked with the Dallas Cowboys, Tom Landry, and Tex Schramm as vice president of player personnel since that franchise began in 1960 until 1989. I swear that he has some personal story about every single player and coach that has ever played in the NFL!

I remember him recounting a story about general manager Bob Quinn when he was first hired by the Lions. If I have any of the pertinent details wrong, ask Gil.

It seems that, prior to the NFL Combine, there was a rather informal get together of top college prospects, or All-Americans, hosted by Playboy. NFL executives from around the league would attend and watch players go through drills prior to the draft.

Quinn was invited one year, early on in his New England Patriots tenure. The problem was that it was a lot more of a party atmosphere than learning opportunity. For many if not most.

It seems that, instead of joining in the festivities like the majority of the NFL attendees, Quinn spent the nights in his motel room preparing three hand-written sheets on yellow legal paper about each and every player in attendance!

That commitment and dedication stood out to Brandt.

The NFL Combine, which Brandt actually played a role in establishing, has made that workout obsolete, but the fact remains: The Lions have a general manager in Bob Quinn that is dedicated, detail oriented and task-driven. That is great news for Lions fans to know that even in a distracting atmosphere such as the Playboy pre-draft workout, Quinn was all about making his football team better! And the historical achievements of the Patriots speaks volumes to the success of his efforts!

Now, listening to SiriusXM NFL Radio online or with the SiriusXM App requires a subscription. For those who do not have access, read on to see what you missed.

First, the show opens up with a couple clips of Dan Miller’s calls in games. In the first, he describes Darius Slay picking off Matt Ryan in the Atlanta Falcons game last year and then excitedly calls a Matthew Stafford touchdown throw to Marvin Jones Jr. After a voice-over introduction, Marvez gets right into it.

Marvez: “You’re listening to the Training Camp Tour, only on SiriusXM NFL Radio… (insert a brief mention of the sponsor)…and Gil, our tenth stop and final stop on the Sirius XM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour is here! Allen Park, Michigan! Detroit Lions! And a franchise, Gil, that’s been knocking on that door for a couple years. Two straight 9 and 7 seasons. They make the playoffs in 2016, get eliminated in the first round. Last year, 9 and 7, not good enough to get into the playoffs.

They lost in week 16 to Cincinnati, thus really sealing Jim Caldwell’s fate. A lot of good things have been happening here in Detroit, but they are looking for great things! That’s what they are hoping they are getting, in Matt Patricia.

Brandt:   Well, I think they made a great choice. I think they hit a home run with the bases loaded in Matt Patricia, I think. What he brings, is he brings a toughness mentality that you need. I think he’ll work ’em hard. And more so than anything, I think they’ll be multiple on defense. You won’t be—from week to week you won’t know what you’re seeing. And that always causes problems.

Now, it can cause problems both ways! Because when you’re multiple, and all of the sudden you’re doing a lot of things, sometimes you make mistakes.

And so, I think his criterion is gonna be, get as many smart players as he can to buy into the defensive system.

Marvez:  Yeah, I agree with you. I think there will be some change here. Considerable change as time goes on (with) the Detroit Lions. And, the good news for Matt Patricia, though, is the rebuilding has already gone into effect because Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia became very close during their time with the New England Patriots.

Bob knows the types of players that Matt’s looking for. And Gil, isn’t that nine-tenths of the battle when it comes to building a roster?

Brandt:  Well, I’ll tell you what we used to do when I was in Dallas. We always used to talk to coach Landry and say, “Coach, what do you see two years from now?” Because in those days, rookies weren’t playing as fast. And so what you try to do is say, ‘what kind of player are you gonna want in 2020’, as an example.

And I think, yes. To answer your question, I think he knows exactly from his time with the New England Patriots, what he wants. And as I said about Matt Patricia, the guy’s an aeronautical engineer, I think, is what he is, and you’ve got to give him credit because he was making a lot of money, in that position. And he said, “No, I want to be in football.” He left the position and went to work at Syracuse as kind of a no-low-paid-no-paid assistant.

Marvez:  You know, I mean, listen, he was that anxious to get into the football business and clearly it has worked out well for him. And you are going to hear a bit later on from Matt Patricia on our show. You’re gonna hear from a whole bunch of folks from this Lions Organization, including Bob Quinn.

We’ve got Glover Quin going to be joining us along with Darius Slay, Jarad Davis, some of the top offensive linemen for the Lions, TJ Lang and Taylor Decker, that great duo of wide receivers, Marvin Jones and Golden Tate. We’ve got a newcomer at tight end, Luke Willson.

And LeGarrette Blount will be joining us. So obviously, a newcomer to the Lions himself. Maybe the good luck charm that this franchise is looking for! No player has ever been on three different Super—consecutive Super Bowl-winning teams for three different franchises. Maybe LeGarrette Blount’s the guy that can seal the deal here in the motor city!

Brandt:  Well, if they had him last year, and there was a fourth and one, or first and one situation in which they didn’t score and lost the game, they probably would have been in the playoffs last year.

Marvez:  Yeah, and unfortunately though, for them, fell just a Little. Bit. Short. And it cost Jim Caldwell his job.

Hey, Matthew Stafford, he is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL and we’re gonna catch up with Matt when we come back. Detroit Lions Training Camp, Allen Park Michigan! SiriusXM NFL Radio!

The guys then went to a commercial break. The next segment will contain player interviews, beginning with the Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Stay tuned!

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