Dan Campbell has taken on the look of one of the more intriguing coaches in the NFL, and heading into the 2022 season, he’s gaining a little traction for being an award winner.
Though Campbell’s Detroit Lions were a miserable 3-13-1 in 2021, most realized that did not reflect poorly on the coach whatsoever given some of the realities of the roster. Now, heading into 2022, there’s a chance for Campbell and his team to really make some waves.
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Already, Campbell is seeing some notable hype before the season even begins in terms of folks predicting him to be the Coach of the Year for next season. Analyst Adam Levitan wrote about the fact he is placing a bet on Campbell to take home the hardware for next season and why.
“Took Dan Campbell 60-1 on CAES (it’s 30-1 elsewhere) to be 2022 Coach of Year. Sneaky strong offense. Play in meh division. Only won 3 games last year, can get big delta. Will bite a kneecap off. When you have chance to tie up money on the Lions for 9 months, you do it,” Levitan tweeted.
The Lions could become a much better team and if they do, Campbell could be set to get plenty of credit for not only his plan but his leadership. That could vault him into play for such an award, which would be a big tribute to the Lions.
While Campbell may not be generating tons of love now, his candidacy for this honor is something to watch for in a big way moving forward when the 2022 season finally begins in a few more months.
Improved Lions Could Vault Campbell Into Award Discussion
The Lions have the chance to get Campbell into the conversation as one of the better new young coaches in the league starting in 2022. Most realize the scope of the rebuild that both Campbell and Brad Holmes took on coming to Detroit, but with some solid decision making, the team seems to be making a push in the right direction. This year, HBO Hard Knocks has decided to visit the team in training camp for an offseason profile, and with that combining with more winning, Campbell could take a leap in terms of his own popularity in the weeks ahead.
Campbell becoming a stud in the league would be fun for Lions fans, as he already has one of the best personalities of any coach in the league at this point in time.
Assessing Campbell’s First Season With Lions
The speech may have seemed like a joke to rival fanbases or the NFL at the time, but Campbell did live up to his promise bit by bit. The Lions were one of the toughest teams in the league during the 2021 season, even if it did not translate into immediate wins. Detroit was in nearly every game that was played and never backed down. They managed to do this in spite of multiple players being lost due to injury as well as illness outbreaks late in the season. With this in mind, it seems a minor miracle that the Lions beat Minnesota and Arizona, a pair of teams that were in playoff race as well as tying Pittsburgh, a team that ended up in the AFC postseason. In the end, it was an obvious testament to the toughness Campbell preached about on his first day.
Offensively and defensively, there is still much to work out with the roster in terms of improvements and depth, but Campbell did a decent job to managed things overall. He was an aggressive coach on fourth-down, and looks to be an innovator in terms of decision making in those moments. Campbell also rolled the dice appropriately with a multitude of fake punts and onside kicks, showing his vigorous side. When he took over play calling, the offense seemed to improve in a tangible way.
Overall, it was a solid start for Campbell as it relates to laying a foundation. Now, he will have to start building the house. If that plays out, the Lions could help him build his own brand and fill his trophy case in a big way.
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