The Detroit Lions have struggled early in the 2021 season, but that hasn’t changed some folks from feeling positive about the direction of the team and the franchise.
One such person who can be counted as a believer in that mindset would be Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw. Though the Lions have been a punchline early this season, Bradshaw took a minute on Sunday, October 10th’s iteration of Fox NFL Sunday to give some love to the team and their first-year head coach Dan Campbell.
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As Bradshaw said, he believes aside from all the negativity, the Lions have been tough and Campbell has impressed him as a leader thus far.
“The Lions, Dan Campbell, when they hired him and he talked about biting off kneecaps I went ‘oh my gosh what have they hired here?’ All of a sudden they are 0-4 and you go ‘oh what a lousy hire and what a lousy football team.’ Hear me loud and clear. This team plays hard. I actually like the Lions because of Campbell’s toughness. This team plays hard,” Bradshaw said on the show.
Fellow analyst and former coach Jimmy Johnson said the Lions might play hard but are still not good. Bradshaw had a quick retort for him on the telecast.
“They’ll fix the not good part eventually,” Bradshaw quipped.
The Lions might yet figure to have more bumps in the road this season, but at the very least, they are making the right headlines for their toughness and ability to hang tough in spite of some adversity.
Bradshaw Changes His Tune on Lions
A new regime has clearly made all the difference in the world for Brashaw as it relates to his feelings on Detroit. Just a year ago, the Hall of Fame quarterback was constantly taking swings at the Lions in reference to Matt Patricia and the team’s inability to play hard for their former coach. Multiple times in 2020, Bradshaw slammed the Lions and Patricia for going though the motions and the team not playing up to potential on the field, and even called for his dismissal mid-season. Now, it doesn’t seem Bradshaw is that disappointed in where the Lions are trending in spite of their record.
Bradshaw’s change of heart shows how a few more wins and a new mindset could help flip a narrative about the Lions quickly. Already, this should be a sign of progress early within the rebuild.
Campbell Believes Lions ‘Not That Far Away’
Clearly, Campbell would agree with the toughness sentiment Bradshaw is referencing in a big way. 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.
“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 continue to try to find the right mix, and as they do, some of the talking heads remain intrigued by what they can build moving forward due to how tough they have proven to be.