Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media on Monday and he said that early in his career, he learned how to fight during joint practices but by the time he got to Dallas, Bill Parcells made it very clear that fights would not be tolerated.
“You learn how to fight,” Campbell said Monday. “You learned you always get involved, that’s one. And two is you learn you keep your head on a swivel.”
“That was early in my career,” Campbell said of training camp fights. “When I got to Dallas, I remember we were going to practice against the Texans. I remember Coach (Bill) Parcells stood up in front of the room and was like, ‘No fighting. Anybody fights, you’re done.’ And everybody believed it, so we didn’t have one fight and got great work.”
When it comes to joint practices, Dan Campbell knows that joint practices are not about fighting but getting good work with your opponent.
“So we just have to make an emphasis of that. I know they will, we will. We’re not out there to fight. But we’re going to compete and have good work, so I would say most of the experiences I’ve had have been really good. Really good.”
Dan Campbell praises two Detroit Lions ‘brawlers’ for not brawling
During Wednesday’s joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts, a couple of minor skirmishes took place and some Lions’ players reportedly thought there would be more of the same on Thursday, but there wasn’t.
Following practice, Campbell praised a couple of his players who are known scrappers for keeping their composure.
“I thought two of our players that are known to scrap a little bit, (Dan) Skipper and Austin Bryant, I thought did a hell of a job, both of them,” Campbell said. “Because I know that’s not easy, but they did exactly what we asked them to do, man. They toed the line, but neither one of them crossed it, and I told them, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Bryant told reporters that he was “consciously thinking” about keeping his cool rather than starting a brawl.
“Yeah because everybody on the team thought I’d be the one to start the brawl,” Bryant said. “So I decided to not be that guy. I was consciously thinking about not being that guy.
“… It’s hard, especially for a guy like myself,” Bryant said about maintaining his temperament. “I’m very emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve when I play this game. I’m actually a calm, cool, lover-type of guy outside of ball if you’d believe that, but everybody thinks I’m just this ferocious fighter. I’m actually a good guy.”