Lions Defender Explains Deep Respect for Detroit’s Coaching Staff

Tracy Walker

Getty Tracy Walker celebrates after an interception in 2021

One of the biggest talking points for the 2021 Detroit Lions was the fact that the team managed to hold together and create the right kind of environment for players and staff members alike.

Culture was a big buzz-word for the team, and coming off the negativity of the Matt Patricia era, the team seems to have found the right change with regards to Matt Patricia and his crew. This year, the team’s locker room has been brought together in a significant way with their new staff.

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Lions safety Tracy Walker provided a great illustration about why he feels so good about the coaches he played for in 2021. As he said, respect is a big buzzword for the staff and the players and there is some great give and take between the coaches and their players that has gotten Walker’s attention.

Speaking with the media, Walker explained what he was thinking about his staff and explained as shown in a tweet by Nolan Bianchi, and the answer is a pretty good one for Lions fans who want some tangible hope for the future.

“That plays a huge role, for sure. Like I said, if you don’t agree with your coaches and your coaching staff, man, that can be so detrimental to your team. I feel like with these coaches, they believe in the players. They understand what it’s like to be a player, first off, so they’re open ears. Sometimes we might not be right as players, but they’re still open to hear it. That’s the biggest thing for me. That was the biggest difference, honestly. I respect these coaches for that, giving me a voice, and allowing me to voice my opinions, and hearing me out, regardless if I’m right or wrong. And that’s the difference between these coaches. That’s why I repeat them the way I do,” Walker said.

Respect was a big buzzword for Patricia and the Lions, and now with Campbell and the Lions for opposite reasons. It’s clear the Lions players love Campbell and had spite for Patricia in many cases.

Hearing these words has to be seen as a positive for the Lions moving forward in terms of building a winning culture they can sustain.

Walker Spoke About Free Agency Return to Detroit

Walker, a free agent, has been praised for coming into his own during the 2021 season on the field for Detroit’s defense. In the secondary, Walker has anchored the safety position well for the last few seasons, and though he is a free agent, could be desiring to stay put right where he is at.

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Speaking with the media back in late November in an interview posted to, Walker was asked about his prospects for the future. As he said, he wants to stay in Detroit, but only if the team will have him.

“I wouldn’t mind (that). I definitely see myself like I said, I got to control what I can control. Anything can happen. I go out here, I give it my all to these guys, the coaching staff. God willing, I’m going to be here. If not, so be it I’ll go take my talents elsewhere,” Walker told the media. “But I hope I’m here. At the end of the day I got to control what I can control and that just what I live by. I take every day day by day and that’s the bottom line.

Walker has evolved into one of the team leaders for the Lions and has been a player who has stepped up and delivered solid play. How much of an impression has he made on the new staff, though? Additionally, how much money will he want? That’s the key point which will determine if Walker returns in 2022 or not.

At this point, though, it seems as if there could be a reunion if the Lions are open to it this offseason for more than a few reasons.

Walker’s Stats & Highlights

In his Detroit career, Walker has been solid since being a third-round draft pick in 2018. His first season in the league, Walker managed to put up 21 tackles and 1 interception. From there, though, he has only taken on a bigger role and managed to play a more meaningful role for the team’s defense. In 2019, Walker bounced back and put up his best season to date, with 103 tackles and 1 interception. In 2021, Walker had another solid year with 108 tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception. As a whole, Walker has put up 318 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 interceptions. Here’s a look at some highlights:

Walker is a free agent in the 2022 offseason, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the Lions elect to bring him back and if he returns. Already, it sounds as if that could be the case thanks to the team’s coaching staff.

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