The Detroit Lions have turned things around on the field and in their locker room, and possibly the biggest reason has been their head coach.
Dan Campbell has an edge about him that’s hard to describe, and that’s true even for his players. One thing they seem to know, however? They love the coach, and would go to battle for him in a big way.
Rookie safety Kerby Joseph was recently interviewed by Jim Rome, and the host said on the show he appreciated Dan Campbell’s coaching. He wanted to know from Joseph what makes Campbell such a great motivator.
As Joseph explained, it’s not something he can put his finger on, but he knows that he is all-in on Campbell, especially when he hears him speak and rally his team in the locker room.
“To be honest I don’t know. When he says something, I buy in. I’m not going to lie. I’ll be like ‘yeah.’ When he comes into halftime like ‘yeah yeah yeah’ turning us up, I’m like ‘yeah coach!'” He just makes me want to run through a wall,” Joseph told Rome. “I feel like he’s such a players coach I know he feels how we feel. He’s been through the same things we’ve been through. So I feel like we share that same love, that same passion for the game. ‘Coach whatever you in, I’m with.’ I’m not going to lie to you.”
Coming to Detroit, it was figured that Campbell would be a coach who could connect with players given his experience in the league as a player. He filled his staff with former players, and it seems he has reaped the benefits of such a move in the cohesiveness with which his team operates.
As Joseph hints, the team knows Campbell cares. As a result, they are motivated to play extra hard for him on the field.
D’Andre Swift: Campbell a ‘Loving Coach’
How has chemistry changed so quickly? According to Swift who spoke with the media on Monday, January 9, there hasn’t been any type of magic potion, and it hasn’t been about overhauling the roster. It’s been more about fine tuning the hard work and focus for the team.
“I feel like (the) culture is changing. Got the right guys in the building, not to say we didn’t, but it’s the way that we come in and work,” Swift told the media. “The mentality that we have, just looking to improve, get better on everything, laser focus from game one to last game, so just the way we work every single day. Just looking to get better and stuff like that.”
Another component, of course, is Campbell. As Swift also said, the coach has so many tangibles and intangibles which endear him to players and makes him a success. First amongst them? His ability to be caring and loving to his players over everything else.
“It’s how Dan (Campbell) is every single day. That’s what you’re going to get from him. He’s caring, loving. Players coach. Wants to see everybody succeed. You want to play for that type of coach. You would lay it on the line, run through the wall for that type of coach,” Swift said.
It’s clear that a player like Joseph would agree with Swift, which shows how the Lions have managed to get everybody pulling in the same direction in a big way within their locker room.
Joseph Enjoyed Elite 2022 Rookie Season
In terms of motivation, there wasn’t much that Campbell had to say to make Joseph stand up and play the game hard. The rookie safety already does that on the regular, and he proved it with his statistical output this year.
Joseph would finish the season with 83 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight passes defended. Three out of his four interceptions came at the expense of Aaron Rodgers, and his effort on November 6 was particularly impressive:
At the end of the day, Joseph looks like a rising star for the Lions in the future on the defensive side of the ball. If he is, he might only have Campbell and his passionate outlook to thank.
Joseph and his teammates have clearly connected with their coach in a big way, and that’s something which is very special to note.