5 things to watch on the Lions’ Hard Knocks debut episode

The Detroit Lions are set to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks in just a few hours, and there are several players and storylines that could be featured throughout the series.

Enjoy the show on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET!

Jamaal Williams the class clown

Lions running back Jamaal Williams tosses up a signed football to fans after open practice at Family Fest at Ford Field on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Running back Jamaal Williams has been making fans, coaches, reporters, and just about everyone else laugh from the moment he was signed last season.

Williams tends to be a content goldmine during the times he’s mic’d up for the Lions, and now he has even more cameras and microphones to goof off into. Though he is known for his fun personality, his emotional post-practice speech shows there’s much more to the veteran running back than meets the eye.

Local talent

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have several Detroit-area natives on their roster this season. What makes this interesting is that two players, Anthony Pittman and Cedrick Boswell, both attended Birmingham Groves High School and were coached by Lions assistant coach DeOn’tae Pannell during their time there. Even more interesting is that these guys had faced off against undrafted rookie tight end Nolan Givan, who played at Berkley High School, during their high school careers.

Hard Knocks loves good stories about young players with a lot to prove, and these hometown heroes and their stories should make some good television.

Culture shift

Lions coach Dan Campbell speaks to fans from the field during open practice at Family Fest at Ford Field on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

The Detroit Lions have seen a major overhaul in the culture around the facility since Dan Campbell took over as head coach.

Under former coach Matt Patricia, many players were disgruntled and Detroit saw many of its top players leave via trade and free agency. Several of these players have not minced words when it comes to talking about the Lions organization either.

It will be interesting to see if any of this will be addressed on Hard Knocks. From an outsider’s perspective, Campbell seems to be steering the ship in the right direction. What many want to see is how he was able to turn things around in the locker room in just over one year with the team.

Former stars of the show

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45). Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Two current Lions players have been the focus of the Hard Knocks crew in seasons past.

Fullback Jason Cabinda was featured heavily on the show back in 2018 when he was an undrafted rookie with the Oakland Raiders. The main focus was his path to the NFL and his connection with his family, specifically his mother who immigrated from Cameroon.

Quarterback Jared Goff was another player who got more than his fair share of screen time on Hard Knocks during his rookie season in 2016 with the Los Angeles Rams. The show captured his first NFL experiences as the first-overall pick that year and his connection to the city of Los Angeles.

The rookies

First-round pick Aidan Hutchinson (97) huddles with teammates during Detroit Lions rookie minicamp Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.
Lionsrr Rook

Arguably the thing that people want to see most is the first glimpses of the 2022 rookie class in action.

First-round pick Aiden Hutchinson has been turning heads throughout training camp and many want to get an up-close look of what he can do in pads against the likes of Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell.

Though he’s not cleared to practice just yet, rookie receiver Jameson Williams has quite the personality and could make for some quality television. One storyline to watch with him is his recovery from the ACL year suffered in the championship game last year.

Sixth-round pick Malcolm Rodriguez has been having himself quite the camp so far and has impressed coaches and fans alike. He is another first-year player to keep tabs on throughout the show.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire