Plenty has been made of the involvement of new Detroit Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp, and the fact that she has been so firmly in the mix has led to some concern in the minds of some fans.
On that front, Dan Campbell took time out to address if not directly confront the elephant in the room. No, Ford Hamp is not in the room physically, but over Zoom, and the coach as well as the team’s other decision makers prefer to keep her in the loop because of the collaborative approach the team has.
Nobody specifically asked Campbell when he was speaking to the media, but the coach still addressed the situation head-on and did so in a pretty awesome way.
Dan Campbell spent the last couple minutes of his press conference today elaborating on owner Sheila Ford Hamp's involvement in personnel meetings.
"We've asked her input. I want her input. I'd love to know what she says." pic.twitter.com/5K9E8bJbMQ
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) March 2, 2021
“Yes she’s been in personnel meetings. We’ve asked her input. Because she’s the owner. I want her input. I’d love to know what she says. but every time it’s like ‘listen, I’m not making this decision. I want you guys to do what you feel is best for the Lions organization.’ So, she’s been nothing but outstanding. But I want all of our coaches, I want our personnel department, I want our players to know, man she cares. She wants to be around. She wants to be part of this. When you have an owner that wants to be involved in that but yet she is just like Sheila where ‘listen, do what you guys need to do. I’m a resource’ yet she is hearing all the information. She’s finding out all the things about these players that we all know. You can’t ask for anything better. She’s been outstanding and that’s the truth. I wanted to make sure I got that across.”
It’s great to see the openness and honesty that is being shown by Campbell and company and also great to see the inclusivity of the entire organization. If the Lions really had an owner trying to run the show, it’s highly unlikely Campbell would be speaking so honestly about what’s going on behind the scenes, but that’s the case here.
Sheila Ford Hamp Involved in Lions’ Meetings
Sheila Ford Hamp committed to big change this offseason and has delivered upon that promise. Now, the owner is staying involved as the team shifts its focus to the offseason. This week, Detroit advisor Chris Spielman went on WXYT 97.1 The Ticket and spoke about what’s been taking place. As he said as summed up by a tweet of Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, both he and Ford Hamp have been involved, if only from the periphery.
Speilman said moves are made by Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, but the fact that both he and Hamp are in the meetings in the first place … that's a lot of people involved.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 23, 2021
As Birkett says, suddenly there’s tons of folks sitting in the room helping to making decisions. Even though that is the case, the final calls come down to what Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell want to do, which should always be the case given they are the general manager and head coach respectively. The fact Ford Hamp and Speilman are in the room does not necessarily indicate that they are controlling what direction the team goes or making demands.
Having a team owner understand the direction of their franchise is a good move, and this level of involvement should only be seen as a positive by fans who might finally be witnessing a change in thinking from what’s been one of the worst franchises in sports.
Follow the Heavy on Lions Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Detroit!
Why Sheila Ford Hamp’s Involvement Shouldn’t Be Concerning
For decades, Lions fans have begged and pleaded for ownership to act interested in the team. They have been frustrated by the lack of success on the field and mystified that the bosses don’t seem to have the same level of care in the product. They’ve desired more communication and involvement from ownership in the process. Finally, the team seems to have an owner who understands that, which is a great sign for the future of the team.
Another advantage for the Lions? Ford Hamp might learn the inner-workings of football quickly, allowing her to become a more well-rounded and better manager of the franchise. There’s long been a temptation to label the Ford family absentee owners, but with this news, that is likely no longer the case.
In terms of what Campbell said, that is excellent news for the Lions moving forward. Ford Hamp cares and is involved, but isn’t putting pressure on her new staff to follow her directives.