Aidan Hutchinson still isn’t sure that it’s set in that he is indeed a member of the Detroit Lions.
“It’s just the weirdest thing, thinking back to when I grew up. It’s all weird but I’m rolling with the punches,’’ Hutchinson said on Thursday, the final day of the Lions’ three-day minicamp.
Still since the draft he has continued to impress coach Dan Campbell.
“I think he’s been all business. I told my wife this last night, what’s great about him is he’s quietly getting better right in front of us,’’ coach Dan Campbell said on Thursday. “He doesn’t say anything, he listens. He’s like a sponge in there, he absorbs information, he watches how things are done and the way coaches want them done. Then he’s got a motor and he goes and he learns and gets better every day. You can see it. I love that about him — everyday there’s growth in front of us.’’
Thursday was the last day of work for the veterans before they report for training camp in late July. However the rookies (including Hutchinson) and developmental players will get more hands-on and one-on-one work with the coaches next week.
“It’s been great the whole camp, I’ve learned a lot, I feel like I have this defense down almost,’’ said Hutchinson who still lives with is parents in Plymouth. “I’m definitely trying to make things muscle-memory at this point.’
He seems to take the jump from college ball at Michigan to the NFL in stride..
“It’s a different tempo, a different game, to be honest with you, compared to college but one I’m getting used to, I’m feeling good with so far,’’ Hutchinson said. “t’s just the pace of the game, the plays you get, the tempo, it’s a split second faster, it’s different in those ways.’’
Hutchinson, the second overall draft pick, said it’s been great to pick the brains of the veterans on the team and looks forward to going up against the offensive line when training camp starts in late July.
“I think we’ve got one of the best offensive lines in the league if you look at all five starters, those guys are studs,’’ Hutchinson said. “Getting up against them, especially when we get to camp with one-on-ones and team reps against those guys, I think it’s super beneficial to me. When I practice against them here.’’
Next week will be different without the veterans. Campbell looks forward to it.
“I kind of like this time of year. The rookies come into rookie minicamp and really feel great about themselves.then the vets come in and they realize they’re not as good as they think they are and they’ve got a lot to learn,’’ Campbell said. “Then they watch how it’s done, then they begin to grow and they start learning they’re still going to ask questions. They’re the young guys in the room … Now that they’ve seen how it’s done, they’ve had time to sit in the room with the vets, once they go away now you start getting those questions. You get more one-on-one and they get a little jolt in their development.’’