The Detroit Lions have a former NFL tight end as a head coach, and that has paid off for rookie. Sam LaPorta.
LaPorta has been impressive this season, racking up 434 yards and four touchdowns. A big reason for that quick production has been his work with Campbell.
LaPorta explained Campbell's impact on him during a recent appearance on Chris Long's podcast "The Green Light."
Sam LaPorta credits Dan Campbell's hands-on approach for his instant success
"Dan helps me with all the details that go unnoticed by the average viewer, and they make all the difference when playing a position like tight end. Dan's great for me. There's several things in terms of technique with first steps, hand placement, all that sort of stuff. You see the tight ends in Ben Johnson's offense specifically running around all the time, we motion for indicators and stuff. I could go start out on my receiver stance. I don't get the point from the center. So I motion into the box, I don't know who I'm blocking. I kind of have to read the defense on my own. So when I get Dan to help with stuff like that, 'hey you motion into the box, you see it's safety, you see it's shell coverage you automatically know the point is going to be the front side backer because it's nickel.' It's like man, that makes a lot of sense. I guess I don't need to worry about that. Stuff like that goes so far with my development and to understand the game at this level."
LaPorta has made use of Campbell's experience, playing and coaching tight ends, parlaying that into a great start to his career. If nothing else, it has given him an excellent and unique head start having a former tight end as a head coach, with the results to back it up so far. Talent also helps, and Campbell would surely say LaPorta has more talent in any one part of his body than he ever had.