Former Lions Player Praises ‘Well-Connected’ Dan Campbell

Dan Campbell

Getty Dan Campbell coaching the Dolphins in 2016.

The Detroit Lions have reportedly zeroed in on Dan Campbell as their next head coach, and if that ends up happening, one person is very excited to say the least.

ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who played with Campbell in Detroit, tweeted that he is downright excited for the former tight end to be likely to land the Lions gig. As for the reason, he believes Campbell will command respect immediately and show true leadership. Campbell is also well-connected according to Orlovsky, which could lead to solid coordinator hires down the road.

Orlovsky expanded on this thought when joining the Pat McAfee Show and talking about the possible hire.

He said:

“I like the fact he’s got ties to the organization. I think that’s important for a place like Detroit. They gotta get someone who understands the organization, where the organization has been. The struggles, why some of the struggles happen, but also understands the city as well. I love the fact he’s been a part of multiple organizations both as a player and a coach. Probably as widely-respected as a guy in the NFL coaching ranks, and I just think he’s going to be able to put together a great staff. We get so enamored with head coaching hires as we should, but the staff the guy brings with him is as important if not more. His connections and the people he knows within the league is going to give him a great opportunity to put together a big time staff.”

Obviously, Campbell’s staff will tell the story of how successful he is considering he’s never been a coordinator himself. Even such, he does have experience in a leadership role as an interim coach and assistant head coach, so Campbell’s ability to hire and delegate will be important to follow.

Orlovsky is lending to the hope that Campbell could put together a solid staff in Detroit.

Lions Zeroing in on Dan Campbell Hire

According to reports, Campbell is the name the Lions have been targeting as a head coach, and he’s likely to be the guy that gets hired when all is said and done. Friday afternoon, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted that Campbell was likely to be the choice of the Lions when the dust settles as it relates to their next coach.

Detroit can’t talk with Campbell officially until after the Saints are finished in the playoffs, so depending on what plays out, this hire could be waiting a while. Should New Orleans win this week, they’ll be heading toward a contest with either Green Bay or Los Angeles. After that, a potential Super Bowl matchup would loom, meaning Campbell might not be on the job until early February at the latest.

Dan Campbell’s Career Stats

Campbell, a four-year letter winner at Texas A&M, started his NFL playing career with the New York Giants as a third-round pick in 1999, where the journeyman tight end stayed until 2002. From 2003-2005, he played for the division rival Dallas Cowboys before signing with the Lions in 2006. After three seasons in Detroit, Campbell finished his career in New Orleans in 2009, helping the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV.

Following that, he retired and broke into the coaching ranks the Miami Dolphins as a coaching intern in 2010. The following season, he was promoted to the team’s tight end coach, where he served from 2011-2015, later taking over as the team’s interim coach after the firing of Joe Philbin. He led Miami to a respectable 5-7 record after taking over a bad situation. In 2016, he re-joined New Orleans, where he’s worked under future Hall of Fame head coach Sean Payton ever since.

As a player, Campbell was solid, hauling in 91 passes for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns in his decade-long career, including 330 yards and four touchdowns across 19 games in Detroit. Last with the Lions in 2008, he would know all about the situation he was walking into if he became the team’s head coach.

It appears that’s going to be the case, and according to Orlovsky, it might prove to be a good move.

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