Dan Campbell names the 2 biggest things that will stand in way of Lions reaching higher goals

Dan Campbell is never one to mince words, and he has two things he is on-guard for that will hold the Lions back.

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Part of what makes Dan Campbell one of a kind as an NFL head coach coach is his openness when he talks to the media. Players buy into what he says because he was one of them, and he has assembled a staff filled with former NFL players. He got emotional last season during an interview for "Monday Night Football", when thinking about the players on the Lions roster during his first season as head coach.

After the gut-wrenching loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, Campbell said he told the players in the post game locker room that it may have been their only shot. As in, their only trip to the NFC Championship Game, with a shot to go to the Super Bowl.

"I told those guys, this may have been our only shot,” Campbell told reporters after the game. “Do I think that? No. Do I believe that? No. However, I know how hard it is to get here. I’m well aware. And it’s gonna be twice as hard to get back to this point next year than it was this year. That’s the reality. And if we don’t have the same hunger and the same work — which is a whole ‘nother thing once we get to the offseason — then we got no shot of getting back here."

It's fair to say Campbell said that in part as motivation for the players, but it's absolutely possible they will never get back to the NFC title game as currently constructed. The last part of those postgame comments should be noted.

Dan Campbell cites 2 biggest things that'll keep Lions from reaching their goals

A common refrain from the Lions after the loss to the 49ers, one step away from the Super Bowl, has been "unfinished business." So it seems like complacency won't be a thing, but time will tell.

Separate from his talk with other reporters at the league meetings on Monday, Campbell talked with Dan Miller of Fox 2.

Miller talked about the progression of the team over the last three seasons, with the next step being "great", and asked Campbell if that changes the approach at all. Campbell said the approach is "very much the same", then he emphasized two things that keep him on guard.

"I alluded to this a little bit earlier today, but the two things that keep me, I would say, keep me focused is, you know....entitlement and complacency. “Those are the two things that keep me on guard. [...] Me, the players—if we fall trap to any one of those, we will not get back to where we were last year. We won’t have a chance.”

"We have the right core foundation, we know that but we gotta start back over from scratch. We can’t let anything slide. We can’t say, ‘Look, I know this guy. He’ll be OK.’ No, there is no OK. You’ve gotta do it the same way you did it last year, man. You start over and do all the little things the right way,” Campbell said."

Campbell acknowledged how collectively everyone has raised the standards, and they can't accept less than that.

Campbell will be on the lookout for any entitlement, complacency, or frankly laziness, and that's his job as a the head coach. But it's hard to see it being a big problem with the group he and Brad Holmes have assembled.


Next. 4 former Detroit Lions who won't live up to their new contracts. 4 former Detroit Lions who won't live up to their new contracts. dark