Lions head coach Dan Campbell took over the offensive play-calling coming out of the bye, and it looks it’ll be more of the same the rest of the season.
During the Detroit Lions bye week, head coach Dan Campbell was clear about wanting to take a more proactive role with the offense. What that meant for offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was unclear in the moment, but what came to fruition in Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers was Campbell taking over the play-calling.
Lynn showed understanding of why Campbell took over the play-calling, which is all he could say. As easily expected, the head coach has brought a run-heavy, conservative approach–at times to a fault with too many surrender run calls on third-and-long.
In that first game with Campbell calling plays, D’Andre Swift set career-highs with 33 carries for 130 yards.
Sustaining offense by having and converting manageable down and distances has certainly been a problem. But the Lions run game has improved with Campbell calling plays (5.8 yards per carry, compared to 4.1 yards per carry before). The passing game has gotten worse though, with Jared Goff needing overtime in Week 10 to top 100 yards through the air and Tim Boyle throwing for just 77 yards when he started in Week 11. And Detroit hasn’t scored more than 16 points in any of the three games Campbell has called plays.
Dan Campbell says he will keep the reins of the Lions’ offense
During his weekly Tuesday appearance on the “Stoney and Case Show” on 97.1 The Ticket, Campbell was asked if he’ll continue to call plays for the rest of the season.
“Yeah, I think right now I probably am.”
During his own weekly radio appearance on Tuesday, Goff talked about what Campbell has brought to the Lions’ offense.
“Dan has put his little spin on (the offense) in a lot of ways where it’s a lot of stuff he’s used to with New Orleans and a lot of the flow-of-the-game stuff that he’s used. I think he’s done a good job.”
Goff also, as expected in light of rumored conflict, gave a token answer to a question if Lynn should be the one calling plays.
“Hey man, that’s not my decision. I’m excited to play for whoever’s calling plays. Whoever it may be is the one I get to go out there and play for.”
Campbell has acknowledged how he has been too conservative, and in obvious situations he needs to be more aggressive in his play-calling. But in a broad sense, even with Jamaal Williams set to replace an injured Swift as the lead back for at least a game, the Lions will surely remain a run-heavy operation so as not to expose a below-average quarterback.