Dan Campbell: Despite Poor Record, Lions ‘Not That Far Away’

Dan Campbell

Getty Dan Campbell looks on during a Lions preseason game in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have endured a dismal start to the 2021 season, but in a rebuild year, the team was always expected to struggle a bit on the field.

That’s been the case and then some for the Lions, who haven’t been able to get a win under their belt so far in the young season. Even though that’s been the case, the Lions have managed to look serviceable in all of their games, and continue to be right there in terms of potentially winning the games.

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That’s a fact that isn’t lost on head coach Dan Campbell. As Campbell said when speaking with the media on Wednesday, October 6, he believes the team was once again right there when it comes to competing in games. Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, Campbell admitted that the team was within striking distance once again to a win.

Detroit Lions Media Availability: Oct. 6, 2021 | Dan CampbellWatch Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell speak to the media Oct. 6, 2021. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: bit.ly/2OABzdx More Lions NFL Action: bit.ly/2oxtfjX #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit detroitlions.com/ Follow: twitter.com/Lions Follow: instagram.com/detroitlionsnfl/ Like: facebook.com/DetroitLions2021-10-06T15:14:55Z

“0-4 stings but at the same time, we’re not as far away as it appears to be,” Campbell told the media. “I just bring it up again. We were two plays away last week, you could argue we were two plays away from winning that game. And that’s nothing against Chicago, they played well. It’s a credit to them. We are not as far away as it appears to be.”

The Lions have struggled with consistency on both sides of the ball, but the work that is getting done this season even in losses is important to the future of the team as Campbell said, as the staff is figuring out who they an trust while getting players some key experience.

“It’s about building our foundation,” Campbell said. “It’s about finding those guys that we can win with. Not just now, and how quickly can they help us win now, but down the road. You can’t ever lose sight of that. With that, as long as guys are coming back in to work and putting their best foot forward and they’re a sponge to knowledge, and they want to get better, they want to help, they want to win, they want to contribute. They’re not anchors to our program, they’re pulling us down and they’re negative, they’re always searching for an answer, it’s somebody else’s fault. I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job, we don’t have that around here.”

The Lions will keep fighting to see if they can break their win drought. Until then, Campbell still believes the team is close and has a good chance to build things properly.

Campbell Explains Veteran Leadership on Lions

While the Lions don’t yet have a win on the season, Campbell still sees the veteran players on the team stepping up and providing the right kind of leadership that can keep the team close and allow them to eventually get over the hump with finding wins. Specifically, Campbell cited multiple players that have done a good job showing the younger players the way.

“Michael Brockers is one, Alex Anzalone is one. Guys like (Jason) Cabinda who have been here but are stables and just go back to work and do their thing,” Campbell said. “I think (Jared) Goff, I think Kalif Raymond, I think Dean Marlowe. I think there’s a number of guys because they know what winning looks like. They’ve been there and they don’t accept it. I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that follow their lead.”

The Lions putting together the right mix of veteran players to show the young players on the team the way is important for the future, and it’s certainly positive to hear that Campbell believes the players are responding in the right way to adversity.

Detroit’s Upcoming Schedule Offers Chances

While the Lions will probably be major underdogs in Week 5, the team will have a chance in their next two home games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles to break the winless drought. Cincinnati has had a solid start to the season thus far and the Eagles have looked serviceable as well, but have a losing record. The Lions probably aren’t going to be favored in either game, but a home crowd could conceivably help push them over the top, and that is what the team is going to have to hope happens ahead of their bye week in Week 9.

Leadership is going to be important for the Lions to crack the code, as will be not giving up. So far, the coach has maintained a positive mindset even in spite of some of the struggles the team has endured, and continues to believe the roster is close to getting over the top.

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