The longtime basement dweller of the division, the Detroit Lions, finished last in the standings for a third consecutive year — a result tantamount to the Matt Patricia-Bob Quinn era in Detroit that ended with both the head coach and general manager being fired in November.
The Lions’ new coach, Dan Campbell, made his mark known in his first media availability with a questionably threatening, and somewhat hilarious, statement to the opposition, saying Detroit is “going to bite a knee cap off” its competition.
Who else is ready to run through a wall listening to Lions new coach Dan Campbell?
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 21, 2021
Here’s the transcript of the video:
Here’s what I do know, is that this team is going to take on the identity of this city. And this city’s been down and it found way to get up. It’s found a way to overcome adversity.
So this team’s going to be built on: we’re going to kick you in the teeth, all right, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you and when you knock us down, we’re going to get up, and on the way up, we’re going to bite a knee cap off. And we’re going to stand up and then it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we’re going to take your other kneecap, and we’re going to get up and then it’s going to take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we’re going to take another hunk out of you. Before long, we’re going to be the last one standing. That’s going to be the mentality.
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Campbell’s History and Ties to Vikings
Campbell’s rousing introduction to the Motor City was actually a reunion as the former NFL tight end played for the Detroit Lions from 2006-2008.
Before joining the Lions, Campbell was a tight end coach for the New Orleans Saints for five years and an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins.
Campbell served as the Dolphins’ interim head coach in 2015 but was not selected for the head coaching gig, prompting his move to New Orleans. Ironically, Campbell was actually offered an assistant coach position by Zimmer in 2016 and also interviewed for the offensive coordinator job vacated by Pat Shurmur and won by John DeFilippo.
Campbell joins new general manager Brad Holmes and newly appointed special assistant to the owner and CEO of the Lions Chris Spielman, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman’s brother, who has played a hand in both hires.
Campbell was a blocking tight end in his career and helped develop strong run games in Miami as the interim head coach, helping the Dolphins improve eight spots in the NFL rushing yards per game rankings and sending five players to the Pro Bowl.
The Lions have lacked a strong running game to complement Matt Stafford. If Campbell can get Detroit in gear, the team could prove dangerous in the division.
Jimmy Fallon Roasts Campbell
Time will tell whether Campbell’s speech was just fluff or if it will carry substance, but at the very least it was entertaining on a nationwide scope.
Jimmy Fallon featured the statement on the “Tonight Show” and took a playful jab at Campbells’ intensity.
“In hindsight, maybe eating bath salts before his press conference was ill-advised,” Fallon commented on the video.
You can watch the full roast below.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.