The Detroit Lions impressed many at the draft. Now Dan Campbell is working on the unthinkable; changing 60 years of losing culture.
Almost four months ago to the day, the Detroit Lions introduced Dan Campbell as their new head coach. Campbell’s opening statement was 20 minutes of pure Dan Campbell passion. Then he followed that up with 45 minutes of answering questions.
It was a marathon of unscripted passion. From humor to biting knee caps, he surprised the world with what he had to say. The majority of that world simply dismissed it as another bad hire by a franchise that has no idea how to win.
However, for those that Campbell was targeting his press conference to, there was a different reaction. The long-suffering fans of this woe-begone franchise felt Campbell’s passion striking a note in their chest. The blood started pumping and suddenly many of the Honolulu Blue and Silver faithful wanted to run through a brick wall for their new head coach, if not at least bite a knee cap.
Now four months later, after new general manager Brad Holmes’ traded away the Lions all-time leading passer, ran a low-key, cost-effective free agency, and wowed the fans and press alike with a very solid draft that could become the foundation of a winner, the spotlight is solidly back on Campbell. Now he and his staff will need to get the most out of what is still a talent needy roster.
Perhaps the NFL themselves are wanting to humble Campbell for his knee-biting remarks as they saddled the Lions with one of the toughest schedules in the league. Yet Campbell’s response shouldn’t surprise us too much.
While Campbell admits it’s a tough schedule, he isn’t playing the woe-is-me card. Instead, he’s… well, excited. I suppose that’s not too much of a surprise because he’s always excited, but he sees the schedule as a challenge. A challenge he expects his coaching staff and roster to meet head-on. Something I dare say will probably exemplify the Dan Campbell era.