Lions LB coach says Jack Campbell already ‘at another level’ for his second season

USA Today

Kelvin Sheppard is a pretty demanding guy. The Detroit Lions linebackers coach was very demonstrative and verbose as a longtime NFL player, and he brings that same passion and energy to his coaching.

That is not second-year linebacker Jack Campbell’s style. Campbell is quiet and difficult to read from afar, something Sheppard has probably never been accused of on either count. Yet the coach is clearly enamored with the player and they’ve found a great balance in their divergent personalities.

Sheppard recently talked about how much Campbell has stepped up his game over the offseason. The Lions wanted more out of No. 46 in his second season after a mostly promising but occasionally frustrating rookie campaign, and he’s already delivering. Campbell was one of the standouts in OTAs and minicamp, where he received the lion’s share of first-team reps.

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“It’s hard to get a full tell, obviously, physically on the linebacker position during this time of year due to the physical nature that we play, especially here, but he’s exceeded my expectations — which were already high,” Sheppard said during the recent OTAs. “He’s come back further along than where I expected.”

Sheppard continued, showing real appreciation for Campebell’s dedication to self-improvement and offseason work.

“I’m telling you, it’s at another level. This guy here’s operating like an eight-year vet as far as making the calls, how he sets the standard of how we practice as a defense, and I think other guys are starting to look towards him now.”

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