Lions head coach Dan Campbell is well-known for his press conferences. Campbell isn’t the only Lions coach who can take everyone for a ride in his press briefings.
Detroit special teams coordinator Dave Fipp has quickly attained must-watch status for his press conferences. Fipp is an engaging, folksy storyteller who does not stick to football. Last week he regaled everyone with country music and military graduation stories. This week, Fipp broke into stories about the movie American Pie and what to give out for Halloween.
So it might have caught folks off-guard when Fipp went into a very detail-oriented, lengthy scouting report on the Las Vegas Raiders and their special teams ahead of the Week 8 matchup between the two teams. Make no mistake, Fipp does his homework.
Here’s Fipp’s answer in its entirety (as transcribed by the Lions media relations staff):
“Yeah, you hit on it. This is a really good group. Have got a lot of respect for them. They’re an interesting group. Their (Raiders P AJ Cole) punter is just – I mean he’s a great player. He’s punting the ball 50 yards down the field, they’re outside the numbers, both ways. He gets a lot of width on it which makes it difficult for the return team, helps the cover unit. So, he gets a lot of width on the ball. He doesn’t outkick the coverage either necessarily. He puts it, like I said, about 50 yards down the field. He stretches the returner out, he makes that guy run right and left to catch the ball. He can look like he’s going right and go left, and look like he’s going left and go right, and still get the ball out there with a lot of width. So, really good player, and then – so that’s kind of them on their punt team. Their kickoff team – I mean and don’t get me wrong, they’ve got a bunch of good core players in there on their kickoff team. (Raiders LB Kana’i Mauga) 43, this guy runs down there, he’s going to go hammer you, and he’s a factor. And they’ve got a bunch of other good players, (Raiders DE Malcolm) Koonce, 51, (Raiders LB Luke Masterson) 59. They’ve got a bunch of speed guys, (Raider RB Ameer Abdullah) 22, (Raiders S Isaiah Pola-Mao) 20. They move guys all around. So, those guys have done a nice job, but their kicker’s also hung the ball up there really well with a lot of hang time. So, he presents a challenge and their present a challenge there. And then their return game, their returner, you guys know, I’ve talked about him before as a guy I love. Just a great story in this League, he’s a great person, really talented player, he knows who he is, he competes. The reason he’s there is because he’s just such a competitive player. He catches the ball, he’s a super quick starter, he hits everything full speed, he believes he’s going to make a play every time he touches it and he is downhill in a hurry and ripping it right back at you. So, it’s hard to get him down in kickoff coverage, hard to tackle him down inside the 25 because he just gets started so fast, and they do a nice job blocking for him. And they’ve got some nice plays that are built around his strengths really. I think (Raiders Special Teams Coordinator Tom) McMahon, their coach over there, does a real nice job with them. So, yeah, it’s a good team all the way around. We’ve got our hands full.”
Much like Campbell, Fipp shows he can be incredibly knowledgable and well-versed on the football side of things but also able to have some fun in his media sessions.