Lions Rookie Not Shying Away From Hype of Opener vs. Chiefs

Dan Campbell

Getty One of the rookies for Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions talked about what he envisions happening in his first NFL game.

Dan Campbell made it clear in his opening press conference for the Detroit Lions that he wants his players to never back down from a test.

Rookie defensive tackle Brodric Martin has yet to play a down for the Lions, but he’s already proving to be that type of player.

While talking to the media during his first week at training camp, Martin discussed how he sees his first NFL game going. The Lions will face the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime on September 7 in what will be the league’s first regular season game of 2023.

“Definitely, just being there [in Kansas City], with those fans, with that O-line, I definitely have envisioned the whole thing, making plays,” Martin told reporters, via’s All Lions’ Vito Chirco. “The (fans) going to be live, and it’s just going to amp me up, too.

“It’s going to amp you up or you’re going to shy from it, and I’m not the type of person to shy from it.”

Martin will see the New York Giants as his first NFL opponent on August 11. But the Chiefs will be the first opposition he faces in the regular season.

Lions Rookies to Make Impact in Week 1

Lions head coach Dan Campbell stressed to the media on July 30 that Martin needs to continue to “stack” good days at training camp to prove he deserves early playing time. But the head coach said Martin was adapting to the speed of the league.

Martin wasn’t the only rookie who showed encouraging signs in the first week of camp according to Campbell.

Thanks in large part to the Matthew Stafford trade, the Lions possessed a lot of draft capital this year. General manager Brad Holmes traded up and down the draft board this past spring, but the end result gave the Lions a pair of rookies from each of the first three rounds.

All of those rookies except quarterback Hendon Hooker, who is still recovering from ACL surgery, are encouraging Campbell at training camp.

“Really, more than anything, you want to feel like at this point that they at least belong and that they are not in over their head,” Campbell told the media. “You expect them to struggle early with some things, but I would say, really with all those guys, you don’t feel that way [that they are over their heads].”

Running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who the Lions selected at No. 12 overall, is a rookie of the year candidate. Fellow first-rounder Jack Campbell is competing during training camp for playing time at inside linebacker.

Second-round picks, tight end Sam LaPorta and defensive back Brian Branch, have chances to carve out significant roles as rookies too. That’s especially true for LaPorta, who could start at tight end.

But on July 30, Campbell was particularly complimentary of Branch.

“What showed up on the tape in college is beginning to show up already up here, quickly,” Campbell said. “He’s an instinctive guy. He has got some ball-hawking ability.”

“He’s not out of place. There’s things to him, you can see him grow. He’s another guy who is wired correctly. He’s wired right. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. He goes to work, and he just wants more.”

Lions Issuing Multiple Warnings to Chiefs

Martin isn’t the only Lions player already thinking about the Chiefs.

In an interview on Sirius XM’s NFL Rewind on July 3, Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs said that his team is ready to shock the world against the defending champions.

“It’s time to show what Detroit is made of,” Jacobs said, via’s All Lions. “When we knew we were playing them in the season opener, Dan Campbell came in and said, ‘They want us to lose, so what are we going to do?’ … We almost went to the playoffs and they just won the Super Bowl, so they’re trying to see if we’re really like that.”

If the Lions beat the Chiefs in Week 1, it’s likely Martin or one of Detroit’s other top rookies will need to have a big performance.

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