NFC Notes: Dan Campbell, Lions, Packers, Vikings


There’s an unusual amount of optimism in Detroit surrounding the Lions these days. While the team finished 3-13-1 last season and picked No. 2 in the draft, the Lions were a scrappy team in HC Dan Campbell‘s first season and there’s a feeling they can build on things in Year 2. Campbell cited Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, who went from 16th to first place in the final 33 seconds of the race, as a metaphor for his team. 

“One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen in a long time,” Campbell said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “It was impressive. It was beautiful. I just think I’ve got guys like Rich Strike. Every time we hear the S-O-L, same old Lions, and all the stuff, I think it fuels our fire. We love it. I think that’s how we all feel. That’s how we all talk. That’s how we all think. There’s nothing fake about it.”

  • Lions CB Jeff Okudah is still recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1 last season, but a recent Instagram post showed him performing a 29-inch vertical while holding 30-pound dumbbells in each hand.


Packers first-round LB Quay Walker is expected to be a starter from Day 1 and turn a position that has been a weakness for a while in Green Bay into a strength. He was running with the first-team for a chunk of OTAs and physically was impressive to teammates. The next step is just getting used to the NFL game. 

“Big, fast, strong, explosive,” Packers OLB Rashan Gary said via the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “First time seeing him and one thing I challenged Quay with is, ‘You’re in the ‘backer spot. Be confident. Yell the calls because if you’re confident, we’re all confident.’ But he’s been doing a hell of a job picking up the plays and filling up where the guys have to fill up.”

  • Schneidman points out Packers fifth-round OLB Kingsley Enagbare might be asked to play significant snaps as a rookie given how much Green Bay rotates their edge rushers. 


  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes that while the Vikings organization was all-in on QB Kirk Cousins despite having the ability to pursue another signal caller this offseason, former HC Mike Zimmer obviously didn’t feel the same, which likely led to the duo of him and GM Rick Spielman being fired.
  • 24/7 Sports’ Brad Stainbrook reports the Browns are out on DT Ndamukong Suh and the Vikings remain in hot pursuit of the veteran free agent, who has also spoken with the Raiders.
  • Stainbrook adds Suh is hoping to sign somewhere before training camp begins.

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