Dan Campbell is all about his Lions players buying in
By Robert Jones
A winning culture takes players that believe in their coach
Despite the comparisons to the Big Lebowski and a jawline that rivals that of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, Dan Campbell marches to his own beat. He may not be the X’s and O’s wizard that fans are always looking for, but he understands and connects with his players.
This is a team that believes they will be playing meaningful games in December.
Some die-hard fans are with them on that idea, but for the most part, the rest of us understand that this is a process and that there is more work to be done.
There are concerns about the receiving corps, the linebackers, and the secondary.
Then of course there is the ultimate question of whether Jared Goff is the long-term answer at quarterback. As the season unfolds the answers will become clearer.
What will also become clearer is if Campbell’s Lions can demonstrate improvement on the field that they can believe in. Improvement they can build on.
As the fans and media watch they will be looking for progress as well. Looking for reasons to proclaim that this is either the regime that will lead the Lions to championship contention or just another failed attempt to resurrect the long-lost glory of 1957.
Building a winning culture takes more than a head coach that does up-downs with his team or even a dynamic offensive or defensive system. It takes the right coaches with talented players who believe in them.
Brad Holmes has to be given more time to build a roster that is talented enough to truly contend for a title. However, it is never too soon for a coach to win over his players and make them believe in the direction the team is going, but even the most gung-ho player needs to see tangible proof that their franchise is making progress and building towards something competitive and possibly special.
So far Dan Campbell’s players believe in him and his staff. If they can play hard enough and execute well enough to start making improvements when the bullets start flying, then that long-sought-after winning culture Lions fans have been waiting for could be here for more than just a preseason cameo.