They might be more than 3000 miles from home, but the Detroit Lions are loving London living. Head coach Jim Caldwell addressed the media this morning and said his players were having a great time on their trip to the UK.
The team are staying in the leafy Surrey surroundings of Pennyhill Park, near Bagshot. This luxurious hotel is where the England rugby union team set up camp during next month’s autumn internationals, and again for the 2015 World Cup. The Raiders used the complex in Week 4 last month, and The Jags were here last year.
The Lions touched down in the UK on Tuesday, and Caldwell praised his hosts claiming that the trip has been great for team bonding.
“A lot of the guys will be sad to leave because it’s been a great setting”
Caldwell has led his new side to an impressive 5&2 start this campaign. He was aware though that this isn’t a normal regular season game:
“A few of these guys are married and have families so, ordinarily, they would be at home with their families in the evening”
The Lions will shortly leave their country-living for the London metropolis, and Caldwell hopes that the experience will help the team on Sunday.
“this particular setting provided an opportunity for those guys to get to know each other a little better. It’s fostered a bit more cohesion”
“Normally our guys aren’t away from things like they are here. It’s unique and we’re benefitting from it”
There was a mood of optimism for UK football fans as Calvin Johnson took part in practice again. The receiver looked comfortable running routes with the offensive team, but Caldwell insisted his star man wouldn’t be rushed, “he did work yesterday and I thought he did a pretty good job. We’ll see where he is today”.
Reggie Bush is also questionable to play on Sunday, along with TE Brandon Pettigrew. It remains unclear as to whether we’ll see Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria as well.
Both Atlanta and Detroit have embraced their visit this week and UK fans look like we’re in for a show on Sunday. Will it be the Falcons flying home with the win, or will the Lions roar at Wembley? Whatever the result, we’re lucky to have them both over here.