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“The Hill” at the Detroit Lions team training facility still exists. And while it’s generally used these days as a promontory point for camera crews, the infamous hill got some work for its initial purpose after Thursday’s training camp practice.
The defensive linemen all ran the hill, a fairly steep rise beyond the end of the practice field. After a 90-minute practice on a humid, sweaty morning in Allen Park, the linemen themselves decided to attack the hill for extra training.
Former head coach Matt Patricia installed the hill in his first offseason and used it as a conditioning tool modeled after similar rises in New England and Houston. “The Hill” quickly gained a negative connotation and occasionally saw usage as a punitive exercise for underperforming players after practices.
Top pass rusher Charles Harris led the charge to run the hill.
“The leaders of the group — me, Brock (DE Michael Brockers) — we decide that every single day we’re going to do something. One percent better every single day,” Harris said after running the hill once practice ended.
“Conditioning-wise there’s no way you can prepare for football at camp in the summer. No matter what you do, no matter how many up-downs you do, how many gassers, you can’t prepare for actual football … we take it upon ourselves to make sure we get something every single day post-practice to ensure our cardio and conditioning.”