‘I Like Where He’s At:’ Dan Campbell Cheers Lions Bubble Player

Dan Campbell

Getty Dan Campbell interacts with a referee during a Lions-Vikings game in 2021.

The Detroit Lions are looking for players to make an impression, and at this point of training camp, they might have found one.

Austin Bryant has been called a part of the Lions’ roster bubble at times this offseason, but it’s looking as if Bryant is taking some steps forward to be thought of as more than just a player who has to earn his keep.

If you believe Dan Campbell, Bryant may have already locked down a spot. Speaking before practice on Friday, August 5, Campbell shared his excitement for Bryant given how he plays and how he has shown up in camp.

“He’s always been all-out, all the time. That’s what I appreciate about him. That was one of the first things I noticed about him, Aaron Glenn and myself, when I was watching film when I took this job. I’m like ‘who is this guy? He goes in the game and goes all out.’ You’re talking about a defense, that’s got to be the starting point. Just high effort. They lay it on the line so he’s always been that way.”

In terms of where he’s at now, Campbell said he believes that Bryant is making a quick turnaround for the team.

“I really feel these last two or three days here, he’s begun to grow here in this camp. You can feel him coming on. He’s been pretty disruptive, he’s using his length. I like where he’s at,” he said.

Does this move Bryant off any potential bubble? That remains to be seen, but at the very least, it feels as if Bryant has done what he needs to do in order to impress the bosses.

During roster cut time, that is very notable.

Bryant Fighting Hard for Lions Roster

It’s become clear this offseason that Bryant isn’t going to back down in his pursuit of the Detroit roster. That much was shown when he got into it during a camp scrum on Thursday, August 4.

While Campbell doesn’t always love fights, he does appreciate the intensity in practice.

To hear that Bryant was involved in an on-field event like this was notable. The defensive lineman has been seen as a roster bubble player this offseason, so a fight shows he is supremely motivated for the year and isn’t backing down from anyone on the field.

Intensity can be a big part of cracking a roster, and it looks as if Bryant has the right mental approach toward getting the job done. He is finally healthy and being able to show signs of his old self. Will depth hurt him this coming year, or will he be able to lock down a role for 2022 in Detroit?

With this mini-battle, he may be showing the right kind of mindset the team will appreciate early on.

Bryant’s Career Stats & Highlights

Picked up in the fourth-round of the 2019 draft, the pass rusher out of Clemson got hyped as a possible hidden-gem thanks to his production in college.

Once he got to Detroit, Bryant was quickly injured again with a nearly identical pectoral ailment to the one he sustained in school. The first few years, he hardly saw the field, but was talented in college. With the Tigers, Bryant was active with 130 tackles, 21 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and 37 tackles for-loss.

Bryant put up just 25 total tackles in his time in the NFL coming into last season. In 2021, he managed to top that with 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Health played a role in his resurgence.

It seems as if Bryant could be a quiet favorite in Detroit, which might place him a bit further off the roster bubble than some might think at this moment.

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