Can Dan Campbell create an identity for the Lions?
Nothing is definite, but all the rumors are pointing at New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach, Dan Campbell to be the favorite in the clubhouse to be the Lions’ man to orchestrate this team on the field.
This is an interesting concept for several reasons. The first of which is that he is a dynamic personality that seems to have the ability to create an identity for a team and he is considered a players coach that gets maximum effort from his players.
Now unlike Brad Holmes, Dan Campbell does have some experience. Back in 2015 as the tight ends coach in Miami, after a slow start to the season the Dolphins fired head coach Joe Philbin, then, to everyone’s surprise, it was Campbell that was elevated to be the interim head coach.
That Miami team wasn’t exactly overflowing with talent, but Campbell worked with what he had. He was able to create a hard-nosed identity for the Dolphins and with an attitude change in the locker room, Campbell finished the season with a 5-7 record as the interim head coach.
I don’t know that anyone felt like he was ready to be a head coach at that time, but the results were positive. When Miami decided to go the Adam Gase route as their next head coach, Dan Campbell was recruited to New Orleans by Sean Payton.
Payton had been on Bill Parcells staff in New York when Campbell was a tight end for the Giants. So he was familiar with Campbell and liked his hard-nosed personality. He was also impressed with what Campbell had accomplished in Miami.
Dan Campbell is now the assistant head coach of the New Orleans Saints. He isn’t a guy who will ‘wow’ you with X’s and O’s, but his players will run through a brick wall for him and execute their assignments to their fullest capability.
In short, is Dan Campbell a dark-horse to be successful? Yes, but considering his ability to create a culture, get his players to execute, and his understanding of how important it is to have the right coordinators surrounding him, He has several key components in place to give him an opportunity to succeed where Matt Patricia failed.