Unveiling the Lions’ Rising Star: Jack Campbell’s Preseason Surge”

The Detroit Lions made a strategic decision to rest the majority of their starting lineup in Saturday’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Surprisingly, this extended to some of the Lions’ rookies, such as first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs, along with second-round selections Sam LaPorta and Brian Branch. The motivation behind this move was clear: Detroit aimed to safeguard their prized, highly-drafted players.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Jack Campbell saw substantial action in the second preseason game, tallying 32 defensive snaps—a higher count than any other Lions linebacker that Saturday. Coach Dan Campbell offered a straightforward explanation for this extended playing time. He pointed out that most of the other highly-drafted rookies had already accumulated significant reps during joint practices with the Jaguars earlier in the week. In contrast, Jack Campbell, predominantly working with the second team, had missed out on this valuable experience.

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Image credit: The Economic Times

For Jack Campbell, who is expected to play a pivotal role in the Lions’ long-term plans, it was imperative to adapt to the speed of the NFL as swiftly as possible.

Coach Dan Campbell expressed his perspective, stating, “Let’s let him go a little bit. Let’s let him play. He is picking up the speed of the game, playing faster, and we believe that the more he plays, the more we’ll see from him.”

Currently, Jack Campbell is in competition for the starting MIKE linebacker position, contending with third-year player Derrick Barnes. Despite the rookie primarily practicing with the second team during training camp, Dan Campbell radiated confidence in the linebacker unit as a whole.

“I really love that room, really like it a lot where it’s going,” Dan Campbell shared. “I started with love and then went to like. Really love it, still love it. Now, we have a ton of confidence in all those guys, and I feel like the room, as a whole, they all bring something different and they all continue to improve every day. Barnes is playing at a high level, and I feel like Jack has shown improvement every time he’s suited up.”

Jack Campbell’s performance on Saturday spoke volumes, leading the team with seven tackles and currently topping the entire roster with 11 total tackles throughout this preseason.

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