Aidan Hutchinson joined the Detroit Lions after growing up in Michigan and spending his college career with the Michigan Wolverines, so it is no surprise that he would understand the lay of the land with the franchise.
Hutchinson would know more than most rookie outsiders about the typical pitfalls of the Lions through the years, and seems to understand what is needed in order to get over the hump. As he admitted, being in the building early on, it’s quite obvious that the Lions could have the right mix of personalities to move forward in the future.
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Hutchinson spoke with the media for the first time as a Lions player on Saturday, May 14 after practice, and as he said, already he feels like the team has the right goods in order to change a long-standing negative vibe about the organization.
“A lot of good people here. I think we definitely got the right people in place to to start winning some ball games. Even all the players, it’s a great vibe here right now and I can’t wait until all the vets get here and we all start getting after as a team,” Hutchinson told the media.
Getting over that hump takes a lot of hard work, and that work begins during the minicamp and offseason workout period. Coming into the building for the first time, was there any surprises for Hutchinson? Not exactly, and for the defender, the challenge is first getting himself back into football shape rather than fitting in.
“No, not a whole lot of surprises to be honest. It’s what I expected going to a minicamp,” Hutchinson said. “We’re definitely hitting it a little harder (than) I feel like other teams are. We’re running and we’re getting after it so again, getting my body back in shape, but it’s what I expected.”
With a hard-working mentality that suits him, it’s not a surprise to see Hutchinson fitting in already and embracing what the Lions are about. It’s also good news that the culture in place seems to be evolving enough where a player like Hutchinson understands and can see the change. That is good news for 2022 and beyond in Detroit.
Hutchinson Praises Dan Campbell’s Outlook for Lions
In terms of a fit for a team, it’s been said that Hutchinson fits the Lions and Dan Campbell like a glove because of his own tough mentality on the field. That’s something which Hutchinson has seen already being in the building. As he explained, he already sees what Campbell’s vision holds and appreciates it for the culture of the team.
“You know, he’s a real gritty guy. One of the themes of the team and the culture for sure is grit. He definitely, I think he’s bringing in a lot of guys with just a lot of grit. I think obviously the talent’s there, everything’s there, but guys who you know make (it) harder, right? You know when you’re out here, we’re just getting after it, so I think all the guys here are definitely fit in that mold for sure,” Hutchinson told the media.
Campbell and Hutchinson seem to be a good fit together already. The coach wasted little time praising his new player over the weekend.
“He’s a perfect fit for us. He really is everything we’re about. He matches us perfectly. I’ve said this before but, it just so happened to be he was in the backyard. It wasn’t because of that, but that’s icing on the cake there, that he was down the road. I just feel like it was meant to be. He belongs here. When you’re going to pick guys, particularly that high, they better fit everything you’re about and he does that,” Campbell said.
It’s a match between team, coach and player that looks seamless early on in Detroit.
Highlights From Hutchinson’s First Rookie Camp
Typically, not much gets done in terms of live contact during rookie drills, but that did not stop Hutchinson from using his full motor to go full bore in everything he was doing on the field. The Lions put together a highlight package which showed off what Hutchinson was able to do on the field in terms of working out and warming up.
One thing that stands out? The rookie didn’t take any repetition off. Hutchinson came to the Lions labeled as a worker who got after it on the field in a big way, and that’s just what he has shown so far. When the veterans get into camp, he will be put to the test in a bigger way, but already, he looks good and ready mentally and physically.
Hutchinson can see where the Lions are trending early on, and he seems to appreciate what the franchise is doing.