The Lions have been a mediocre or worse team since, well, forever, but a former position coach believes he can turn all that around.
It was only one week ago when Dan Campbell was coaching the Saints tight ends, yet now he’s been hired as the Lions’ new head coach. Not only that, he was awarded a six-year deal, which really is incredible, no matter how you look at it.
That type of long-term agreement is emblematic of how Lions ownership has treated its head coaches, often being far more patient with their guys than other organizations around the league. But this situation appears to be a bit different, as Campbell hasn’t served as anything more than assistant to the head coach, and he hasn’t even been in the league for all that long, having been hired by the Dolphins as an assistant in 2010. To his credit, he did have a fairly long career in the league as a player, but that doesn’t necessarily qualify him to be a leader of men, as he’s now tasked with doing.
But Campbell appears to understand the challenges ahead of him, and he recently delivered a passionate speech about turning the Lions into a winning franchise.
“I know that Detroit is made up of great people, some really good people. The community is strong,” Campbell said, as transcribed by CBS Sports. “This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised, and I can sit up here and give you coach speak all day long. I can give you, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this many games.’ None of that matters, and you guys don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve had enough of that s—. Excuse my language.
“Here’s what I do know is that this team is going to take on the identity of this city. This city’s been down and it found a way to get up. It’s found a way to overcome adversity. So this team’s going to be built on we’re going to kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you. And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up and on the way up, we’re gonna bite a kneecap off.”
If Campbell believes biting kneecaps is the Lions’ path to victory, so be it, but we’re skeptical that he’s the guy to turn the team into a contender.