Lions head coach Dan Campbell sends right message to the team

Head coach Dan Campbell is setting the proper offseason tone as the Detroit Lions try to take the next step this year.
Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Going into offseason work, the top teams in the NFL believe they have a chance to to win the Super Bowl.

As the Detroit Lions had their first round of OTA's, head coach Dan Campbell wasted no time setting the tone for this year after reaching the NFC Championship Game last year.

"Let's take this to another level. Let's raise everything. This time of year, it can't be the physical or the violent side of the game, but the mental. Can we grow situational football? Can we really take this to the next step? I talk about level 401. We need to be playing and thinking in level 401 now, because we've all been together and we've got the talent here. We got smart guys. We got competitive guys. Some of these teams are starting from scratch. We need to be like 'hey, we're in year four and we're all together. We've been together.' I think that's what I'm looking for. I want to know even by the end of OTA's, we've taken this (to) another level."

In terms of the work, Campbell revealed that as intense as previous seasons have been, the Lions are ratcheting things up more in 2024, placing more mental demand on the players to execute in tougher situations.

"We're even crisper than we were last year. We've taken it to another notch. Our in-game situations, some of these things we've done, we made it harder on them than it was last year. We've had to. We've stressed them more. We've put a little more pressure on them."

Dan Campbell not worried about Detroit Lions having a let-down

There's pressure on the Lions to take the next step this year, and reach (if not win) the Super Bowl. But Campbell doesn't want to talk about the failure side of that coin.

"I don't see bust. I see Super Bowl. I don't know what the bust is, so Super Bowl or nothing else. We all know every team ought to have that right? Every team ought to be like, 'what are you playing for? You're playing for a Super Bowl.' We're no different than that. I think we know that we work backwards from there. You got to set yourself up no different than last year. To do that, you better win a division. You got to give yourself the best odds you can. You need the best seeding you possibly can. How you do that? Go back to work. Do all the little things, which to this point, our guys have done. They've been here for off season (work). They're grinding. They're working. We're in good shape...."

Campbell thinks (knows?) if the Lions have the right all-around approach, they won't have to worry about the "bust" part of the "Super Bowl or bust" equation this year. He's already talking the talk and walking the walk along that line.


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