Detroit Lions: Are Holmes and Campbell a match made in heaven?
By Robert Jones
The head coach determines the locker room culture
Brad Holmes was asked what he looks for in a head coach. His answer was; presence, poise, confidence, command, mental toughness, and stress tolerance.
We all have to assume that this is what he sees or wants to see in Dan Campbell.
Since the Lions’ interviewing committee seems to have skipped the all-important ‘meet their final head coaching candidates in person before hiring one’, let’s hope that Dan Campbell is indeed Brad Holmes’ choice and this is not just completely an arranged marriage.
Now the truth is that an arranged marriage can work, but chances are it won’t. But if Holmes is all-in on Campbell then the decision to hire him may just be the right one.
The reason I say the hire may be the right one is because, as I mentioned earlier, Holmes is right that the head coach is the voice of the team. The general manager doesn’t have to motivate the players or lead them on Sunday’s. While there is a certain culture Holmes wants to implement in the whole Lions organization, it is the head coach who will establish the locker room culture.
Sure it will help if Holmes is getting talented, passionate players to fill the locker room, but it is still the head coach who will determine exactly what that culture will be.
From all accounts, that is something that Dan Campbell excels at. I recall an interview from a few years back with former Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt. He mentioned that most interim head coaches do well because they tend to go easier on the players than the head coach that had just been fired.
Yet Wannstedt pointed out that Dan Campbell demanded more of the Dolphins players and actually worked them harder when he became their interim head coach in 2015. The result? They went 5-7 under Campbell and the players loved him.
That is something to consider; Campbell worked them harder, yet he didn’t have a player revolt. Instead, the players bought-in, and Campbell established a new culture. A culture that lasted until the offseason when the front office decided to make Adam Gase the Dolphins’ head coach instead of Campbell.