It's the wilting heat of the noon-day sun and the smell of freshly-mown grass. It's the shrill scream of a whistle in the distance and the ground shaking as a mob of 300 lb lineman run past you. It's helmets and pads crashing together and the whoops and hollers that follow.
That's right, it's training camp time.
While camp is certainly all of the above, it is also one more thing. Above all else, it is a time of unending positivity—regardless of your NFL team's chances.
The Detroit Lions just completed the first week of their camp and smiles and laughs are abundant. Then again, the Lions have every reason to be positive about the upcoming season. They demonstrated last year that they're for real by compiling a 10-6 record and making the playoffs.
They are returning essentially the same team so there is every reason for high hopes.
Even though optimism is at an all time high, there are always question marks. Those questions will of course be answered at the end of camp. However, it is possible to glean valuable insight from this first week.
Here are the five biggest takeaways from the week that was.