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Justin Vanfulpen - LionsFans.com
PONTIAC - One player that will have a new position this season on the defense will be Lamar Campbell; Campbell is going into his fourth season with the Detroit Lions, where he was an undrafted rookie free agent from Wisconsin.
Campbell will be a back-up safety on the team, as well as in the Lion nickel package, where he will serve as one of the linebackers out there so that he can use his speed and athletic ability covering tight ends and running backs. Campbell fells fairly well at his new positions after the first two pre-season games.
"I felt pretty good, it was fun," said Campbell. "I like roaming the field, I like going to the game instead of waiting for the game to come to me, so it feels good."
One of Campbell's new positions on the team will allow him to play closer to the line of scrimmage. This will occur in the Lions' nickel package as a linebacker. At 5'11, 190, some may consider Campbell's stature to small at the linebacker slot. He disagrees.
"It's like playing undersized linebacker," Campbell laughs. "No, I've been doing it for like three years now, you can survive down there. I'm not a linebackers size but as long as you know where you are going, and know where you have to be, you can beat a lot of bigger guys to the punch and make a play that they can't."
The move to his role as a back-up safety is nothing that Campbell didn't expect to happen.
"I knew last year when I started playing and practicing safety, and I thought that they may move me," said Campbell.
Something that Campbell has been doing so that he could be ready for the move to safety, and also his move to playing the nickel linebacker spot, was bulking up.
"Really, I just lifted hard and changed my eating habits," Campbell said. "I stopped eating fast food, no McDonalds, just started eating real big meals and lifting hard. I put on about 15 pounds and I'm holding it pretty good. I still have my speed, and I feel like I still have my quickness. I can work with 194, but I don't want to go over 194."
This year, Campbell wants to make a bigger impact then what he did last season -- and he will be on the field more this season as well, so that should help. Last year, he saw the most playing time that he ever did previously with the Lions, and set career marks in tackles, with 45, eight passes defended and had his first interception which he returned for a touchdown against Green Bay. Campbell was also a valuable member of the special teams unit, posting 10 tackles.
Look for Lamar Campbell to make a large impact on the Detroit Lions defense given his expanded role this season.