It just so happened that Sunday, with his team facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round, marked three years to the day since Dan Campbell was introduced as Detroit Lions head coach.
Campbell became the butt of jokes and mocking when he talked about biting knee caps in his introductory presser. As it turned out, that was also only Detroit's first glimpse of a man who would openly wear his emotions on his sleeve.
Campbell's tenure started without a win in the first 11 games (0-10-1 record). Things looked better late in that 2021 season, with three wins in the last six games. Then came a 1-6 start in 2022, which had Campbell moving toward the hot seat a bit. Then came eight wins for the Lions in their final 10 games last season, just missing the playoffs with a 9-8 record.
In Campbell's third season, the Lions have paid off the preseason hype. A division title, and now two playoff wins as the Lions have reached their first NFC Championship Game since 1991 (and their second ever).
Dan Campbell reflects on his tenure as Detroit Lions head coach (video)
During his postgame press conference after Sunday's win over the Buccaneers, Campbell was asked about the fact he was introduced as Lions' head coach exactly three years ago. Not that he wasn't aware of it being three years to the day, he surely was even after a game, but he took the moment to reflect on his tenure to this point.
“Look, I’ve got a lot of really, really outstanding people around me. Alright? And I’m fortunate. I’m fortunate. It takes a village."
After listing some people around him that have helped the Lions reach this new height, from owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood down to coaches Ben Campbell, Aaron Glenn and Dave Fipp, emotions seem to catch Campbell and he repeated "I'm fortunate" to complete his answer.
The Lions are game away from the Super Bowl now. The people around him, top to bottom in the organization, would definitely say they are fortunate to have Campbell.