Dan Campbell fully embracing Lions' role as the hunter and the hunted

The Detroit Lions are a team other teams would love to to beat now, but Dan Campbell is embracing the role as both the hunted and the hunter.
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From the moment he was announced as the head coach of the Detroit Lions, memorable quotes or otherwise, Dan Campbell embraced the underdog mentality. As things turned around in the middle of the 2022 season (8-2 record over their final 10 games), and progressed to an NFC Championship Game run last year, that mindset has remained.

After that conference title game loss to the 49ers, Campbell acknowledged how it would be harder for the Lions to get back to the same point they just reached. He is doing all he can to make sure complacency does not set in, and by all accounts at this point that message is getting across well. The work done during OTAs, and eventually training camp, will set the template for sustaining (or exceeding) last year's success.

Dan Campbell embracing Lions' role as the hunter and the hunted

Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports was at Lions' mandatory minicamp last week, and he of course spoke with Campbell. The Lions' coach, as usual, seems well-tapped into his team as he sets the bar.

"I think our guys know where we're at. I would say this: the motivator is we still have things that we circle, too. We have our own sh*tlist. So we're the team with the target on our back, but we've circled some people too now. We have targets, too."

"It's not like we just ran through everybody last year and blew everybody out. We had losses and tough games. We have division opponents. We lost in the NFC Championship Game. So we've got our own targets man. And that's the motivator."

Campbell had an excellent Ron Burgundy reference about "reading off the teleprompter", in reference to the Lions having to continue to evolve.

"Those are the little things where we can really grow offensively and defensively,” Campbell said, via Christian Booher of SI.com. “Like the awareness of who’s in, what’s the situation. We know what it says on paper, but we can’t do. We can’t just continue to read off the teleprompter. And, that’s the next step, that is the next evolution, because that’s what San Francisco did to us, quite frankly. They played at a different level.”

Going back to that introductory press conference and ever since, Campbell has uniquely eloquent ways to say things. Saying the Lions can't just read off a teleprompter and they "have their own sh*tlist" are the latest additions to that list, in a full embrace of the team's role as both the hunted and the hunter this year.


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