Report: Lions to hire Dan Campbell as their next head coach

Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) /

In the latest edition of the worst kept secret in the NFL, the Detroit Lions will reportedly hire Dan Campbell as their next head coach this Wednesday. That news according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Having served as the assistant to the head coach and tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints, Campbell and the Lions had to wait until after the Saints’ playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday before finalizing any sort of deal. And according to Rapoport, Campbell wishes to conduct exit interviews with his players in New Orleans prior to making the hiring official.

The 44-year old Campbell has spent the last five years with the Saints and as the direct assistant under head coach Sean Payton. Prior to his stint in New Orleans, he spent six seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

Campbell started his time in Miami as a coaching intern and ended it as the interim head coach in 2015. He would lead the Dolphins to a 5-7 record as the in-season replacement for Joe Philbin. He was replaced the following year by Adam Gase.

A former NFL tight end, Campbell played for the Lions from 2006-2008. He would start a total of 12 games in the Motor City, the bulk of them in his first season. He recorded 21 receptions for 308 yards and four touchdowns as an 11-game starter in 2006.

Campbell also played for the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, and the Saints. He would win a Super Bowl ring with New Orleans in 2009 but did so on the sidelines after suffering a season-ending knee injury in training camp.

Soon to be the next head coach in Detroit, Campbell and recently-hired general manager Brad Holmes face the monumental task of tearing down what the previous regime built. Former GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were fired in November after posting three-straight losing seasons. And many of their moves during that span involved the adding of former members of the New England Patriots to the roster.

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Dan Campbell’s first major decision as the head coach of the Detroit Lions likely revolves around the future of quarterback Matthew Stafford in the Motor City. Making a change under center would be the most impactful move the new regime could make in order to place their own stamp on this latest Motown rebuild.