The Detroit Lions haven’t received a ton of national love for their work this offseason, and that’s especially true when it comes to the hire of Dan Campbell.
In many circles, the coach has been routinely mocked lately, and many aren’t lining up to proclaim him a great hire or the kind of boss who will make a difference in the league. When an opposing take is presented, then, it should be highlighted for fans if not celebrated.
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Recently, NFL.com writer Adam Schein put together a piece with the nine bandwagons he wants to jump on for the 2021 season. Down the list in the final spot was the bandwagon of Campbell with the Lions, whom Schein admits might be a bit of an eyebrow raising choice in the short-term. Interestingly enough, he isn’t looking just at the short-term, though.
“This is a future play. But I’m in. I love Campbell’s toughness and general approach. It’s contagious. And the Lions, who have been rebuilding since 1957, needed this kind of figure. Campbell also put together a sensational coaching staff, featuring gems like Duce Staley, Aaron Glenn and Anthony Lynn. It’s gold. And I couldn’t stop watching the reaction from Campbell and new GM Brad Holmes when they drafted offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who will represent toughness and greatness. Campbell and Holmes are culture-changers — and Sewell’s a culture-changing player.
The 2021 season won’t be easy, but I think we’ll see the seeds of change with the franchise. Campbell will run the ball with D’Andre Swift and try to win games in the trenches, where the Lions are pretty stout on both sides of the football. Jared Goff was undoubtedly subpar last season, but he can still play when he’s well-protected and stays within himself.”
Indeed, the Lions might not have a great season in 2021, but it’s all about the future with regards to all the improvements the team has made. Come 2022 and beyond, Campbell might be able to help turn things around and inject some life into what’s been a lifeless franchise.
Campbell Has Been Ridiculed by National Media
At nearly every turn, the media has resorted to ripping Campbell for his moves on the field and off. They lauuged at his boisterous press conference in which he jokingly said the Lions team would be biting kneecaps in 2021. They mocked Campbell for wearing a racing helmet in good fun to a press conference following the reveal of news that the coach would be the Grand Marshall for a local Grand Prix event. It seems some just don’t understand or want to have fun with the coach whatsoever as he tackles the Detroit job.
Matt Patricia didn’t have much personality at all, and Campbell has shown some and managed to get nothing but the brunt of criticism early on. It’s unfair, even if the coach understands how things work.
Campbell Embodies ‘Detroit vs. Everybody’ Mantra
Perhaps the best thing about Campbell that few people nationally tend to mention when they praise him is how he seems to understand Detroit perfectly. If the Lions were looking for a coach that gets the city as well as its hopes and dreams, Campbell is clearly that guy. The delivery of the message was spot on, and now that he confirmed it was simply for a targeted audience and not to generate any type of social media buzz, it will likely only be more legendary for Lions fans. The city’s sports fans wear a chip on their shoulder since they never receive any respect nationally. In Campbell, they have a guy who understands that and doesn’t seem to care.
Looking below the surface, it’s a good idea to be excited about the future with Campbell even when many others aren’t. Credit Schein for getting ahead of this.