Mark Schlereth offers clear perspective on Dan Campbell's aggressiveness

Dan Campbell will not be changing his ways as a coach, and Mark Schlereth clearly explained the benefit from a player's perspective.
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Over his three seasons as Detroit Lions' head coach Dan Campbell, has been near or at the top of the league in going for it on fourth down and overall the Lions top the league in fourth down aggressiveness over that span.

Even with the much-ballyhooed and criticized failures in the NFC Championship Game, that aggressiveness is not going to change. His process in that big game was also not as flawed as some want you to think.

Campbell's aggressiveness on fourth down shows one thing above anything else. He has faith his players will get it done in those situations, and against the 49ers in the conference title game they simply didn't. But to hear the players talk, they wouldn't have it any other way in appreciation of who Campbell is as a coach.

Mark Schlereth, as a three-time Super Bowl champion over 12 seasons as an NFL guard, is in tune to the perspective of a player. In his work as a game analyst for FOX, he has also done some Lions' games during Campbell's tenure.

Mark Schlereth explains how players feel about Dan Campbell's aggressiveness

On a recent episode of his podcast, "The Stinkin' Truth Podcast", Schlereth talked about the Lions and highly praised the overall situation in Detroit. Co-host Mike Evans asked if Campbell would dial back his aggressiveness based on what happened against the 49ers.

Schlereth's answer was not a surprise.

"No, I don’t,” Schlereth said. “I think that’s the way he wants to play.”

Scherleth went further, tapping into the player's side of the equation.

"My guys knowing that the odds are we’re going for it on fourth down, takes the pressure off on third down. They are more — they have more duality on third down than any team in the NFL.”

Duality as Schlereth defined it here, is rooted in the idea that, as he directly said "3rd-down and 7 becomes a potential running play" for the Lions. With the idea they're going to go for it on fourth down a lot, where it makes sense, Ben Johnson's playbook is often wide open on third down. Some may say that's to the detriment of Johnson staying aggressive with his play calls, but that's a different conversation.

Counting the playoffs, the Lions had a top-10 conversion rate (41.7 percent) on third downs last year and a 53.3 percent success rate on fourth downs (24-for-45; tied for 13th).

Overall, it's not surprising that Schlereth is on board with Campbell's fourth down aggressiveness and knows it won't be changing.


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