All signs point to Dan Campbell as Lions next head coach

New Orleans Saints assistant head coach and tight end coach Dan Campbell Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints assistant head coach and tight end coach Dan Campbell Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions have been searching for weeks for their next general manager and head coach. That after firing former GM, Bob Quinn, and head coach Matt Patricia in late November. The Lions even employed the help of some legendary former players to aid in that search in linebacker Chris Spielman and running back Barry Sanders.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Lions were hiring former Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting, Brad Holmes, as their new general manager. And now it appears Detroit is zeroing in on their new head coach as well.

According to NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, emerging as the favorite to win the head coaching job in the Motor City is Dan Campbell according to unnamed sources. Because Campbell is currently the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints, whom are still in the NFL playoffs, he’s unable to conduct an in-person interview with the Lions.

That pending meeting is speculated to be what is hindering any announcement of the potential hire being made official. The Saints are set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday at 6:40 p.m. ET. Depending on the outcome of that playoff game, the Lions could make an official announcement relatively quickly.

Campbell played for the Lions as a tight end from 2006-2008. After his final year in Detroit, the Lions selected quarterback Matthew Stafford with the number one overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Ironically, Campbell could be in a position soon to end Stafford’s run in Motown.

Campbell also played for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and the New Orleans Saints before retiring after the 2009 season. He would switch careers starting as a coaching intern with the Miami Dolphins in 2010.

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After serving as the Dolphins’ tight end coach from 2011-2015, Campbell was promoted to interim head coach after the firing of Joe Philbin. He would led Miami to a 5-7 record in 2015. Campbell has been with the Saints ever since 2016, serving under head coach Sean Payton as his direct assistant and coaching the tight ends.