Detroit Lions LB Derrick Barnes: ‘I’ve had enough of playing slow’

Detroit Lions LB Derrick Barnes is more than ready to take the next step in his career.

Detroit Lions LB Derrick Barnes: ‘I've had enough of playing slow'

When the Detroit Lions drafted linebacker Jack Campbell, now third-year linebacker Derrick Barnes found himself potentially overshadowed by the newcomer. But instead of being resigned, Barnes, along with veteran Alex Anzalone, reached out to linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard, to find out what the plan was moving forward. Now, Barnes, who is sick of “playing slow” is ready to take the next step in his career.

Derrick Barnes Detroit Lions Training Camp Detroit Lions LB Derrick Barnes

What did Derrick Barnes Say?

Barnes is not just driven not just to prove himself but to uplift the team’s linebacker performance as a whole.

“At the beginning, there was a lot of pressure. You get an 18th overall pick, which is a great player. Jack is a young, great player. He's smart, he loves the ball,” the third-year linebacker explained. “It's not the easiest thing to go out and compete with a guy like him. Also, faith played a big part on that. I kind of lost sight of what God had planned for me so I just got back on track with that. Also, you can't worry about the future or the past. You have to worry about now.” 

“Right after my second year (in 2022), I was like, ‘I've had enough,” Barnes explained. “I've had enough of playing slow, not being the player I know I can be because of confidence. I told myself that my third year, I will make a change and however things end up, whether I start, I rotate or I'm on special teams, I don't care. But I will for sure prove to myself how good I can be and how I can develop and how fast I can read things. So it was just really a mindset thing for me.”

2023 Detroit Lions likely to catch huge break

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes faced potential overshadowing with the drafting of LB Jack Campbell. Instead of feeling defeated, Barnes actively seeks opportunities to prove his worth and enhance his game.
  2. Barnes' intense training in Tampa, alongside veteran Anzalone, focuses on improving his on-field awareness and explosiveness, paired with deep study sessions involving defensive strategies and game films.
  3. Entering his third professional season with renewed vigor and mindset, Barnes is determined to make significant strides, irrespective of his designated role, emphasizing his commitment to self-growth and team contribution.

Bottom Line – From Shadows to Spotlight

With the arrival of Jack Campbell, Derrick Barnes could have been another tale of talent overshadowed. But instead, he's penning a story of resurgence, of a linebacker turning challenge into motivation. In a league where new stars emerge every season, Barnes is a reminder that true champions aren't just born; they're self-made.


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