Lions’ Aidan Hutchinson thrilled to put the chatter behind: ‘All the talk, I hate the talk’

ALLEN PARK – It didn’t take long for Aidan Hutchinson to solidify as a personality that fit this Detroit Lions team and what they want to bring here.

Hutchinson, the second overall pick in the April draft, spoke to reporters after Saturday’s rookie minicamp session. He was asked how it felt to step back onto the football field and immediately celebrated the end of all the conscription chatter, speculation and rah-rah stuff.

“Yeah it’s great. That’s what I do at the end of the day. All the talk, I hate the talk,” Hutchinson said. “It’s been a lot of months of talking, a lot of rah-rah, but now we’re out here doing the work to do what i do.

“Lots of good people here. I think we definitely have the right people in place to win some ball games. The players, it’s a great atmosphere here right now. I can’t wait for all the vets to be here and for us all to take care of it as a team.”

Hutchinson, number 97, was out there on day two of minicamp with almost 30 other rookies from team headquarters in Allen Park. He faced tall undrafted rookie offensive tackle Obinna Eze for a couple of reps. But it’s hard to get a feel for the action in the trenches without a lot of contact, let alone the lack of shoulder pads.

Hutchinson said his first goals of the off-season are to get back in shape with football. He admitted he sucked some wind to get started, but “I’m feeling good, but I definitely have to keep working.”

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“Look, we’re one day in there again,” said Lions coach Dan Campbell. “I know that, he’s happy just playing ball. I know that. There are so many things that come into play, especially when you’re where he is. These guys prepare, they take the visits. You go through all these things that have nothing to do with football and nothing to do with being on the pitch.

“I know he’s just happy to be here and learning football in a classroom. He’s out there, he’s working with (Defensive Line Coach Todd) Wash, and he’s in the locker room with the boys. I can say that’s his domain and he’s just happy to do it. I think that other stuff, he knows he has to do it, but that’s not the point here. It’s about the ball.”

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Hutchinson added it felt weird wearing the number 97 and being here with the Lions so close to home and the University of Michigan. But that he’s grateful for the rare opportunity to play for an NFL team whose headquarters are 10 minutes from where he played his high school ball.

Heisman’s runner-up ticked a lot of boxes around those parts and was widely regarded as the best player in this year’s draft. And on the subject, do you feel responsible for putting the Lions on track? Hutchinson admitted there is some inspiration. But he knows it takes more than one person.

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“I definitely feel inspired to get this team up and running again, but again, it’s not just me,” Hutchinson said. “It will be a group effort. It’s going to take all the guys on this team to bring this team back to victory. So if I can be a part of that, I’d love to.”

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