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What happened on Episode 1 of Hard Knocks: Lions?

We recap the first episode of the HBO series, which began on Tuesday night.

Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions answers questions from reporters during the Detroit Lions Training Camp at the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on July 29, 2022 in Allen Park, Michigan. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The NFL is back with their reality franchise that gets everyone hyped up for the season being just around the corner. For over two decades it’s the signal that Week 1 is just around the corner, and this year it’s the Detroit Lions that are the stars from their training camp in Allen Park, Michigan, just 20 minutes southwest of Ford Field.

The show opens with head coach Dan Campbell making an, um, interesting speech to inspire his team.

And let’s just say the players didn’t look too fired up. So if you weren’t in on the Dan Campbell Era, well now... yeah. The longer video certainly didn’t look like he was getting through to the players, but that can be some rough editing as well. The 11-year NFL veteran was the Dolphins head coach for 12 games before getting to Detroit, and between him and his staff there are 80 years of NFL playing experience coaching.

The Lions No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson singing Billie Jean was certainly a fun way to start practice, and was probably the highlight of the episode so far. While his first version wasn’t great, his second effort was very much improved and brought the house down.

There was a cutaway with Hutchinson and his family, including his father that also played at Michigan and in the NFL. The team he grew up watching is now the one where he’s expected to be a star for a decade or more. If there’s any reason to hope as a Lions fan, it’s because of the hometown kid that won a Big Ten Championship last season.

With the newly required guardian cap for “high-impact” positions on top of the helmet, it’s certainly a new look for players in practice. It doesn’t look like everyone is a fan, and it’s different to hear players on the line of scrimmage attack each other without the click of helmet-on-helmet.

The other takeaway is longtime NFL veterans in Duce Staley and Aaron Glenn trash talking each other as coaches during practice. It was perhaps as entertaining as anything happening on the field.