We may be nearing the end of the Detroit Lions’ two critical hires this offseason. With former Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes already hired as the team’s general manager, Detroit is narrowing their search at head coach.
Friday was a big day. They ended up having two interviews cancelled—a second interview with Arthur Smith and a virtual interview with Todd Bowles. Smith ended up taking the job in Atlanta, while reports suggested both Bowles and the Lions came to the agreement to not waste each other’s time.
Then came the news that Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell has emerged as the favorite. It’s not yet a done deal, and it’s not clear if there’s a deal on the table, but with so few candidates left, it certainly seems likely Campbell is the next guy. We won’t know for sure until the Saints are out of the playoffs.
So today’s Question of the Day is...
If Dan Campbell is hired as the next head coach, I will...
My answer: Try to be patient.
It’s hard to know how to feel about the Dan Campbell hire. He does appear to be an energetic leader, and his 10-year playing career has proven to be an asset when it comes to motivating and relating to current players.
But his overall philosophy regarding what direction he wants to take the team is unclear. What kind of offense will he try to build? What are his philosophies on defense? What kind of coaching staff could he bring in?
The Lions likely have answers to these questions after their initial interview, but there just isn’t much public information on this. On Friday, a quote from Campbell went viral, suggesting he was an old-school, run-the-ball-first kind of mind, but that was taken out of context a bit. Here’s the full segment, from this nice profile on the Sporting News:
During his playing days as a Texas A&M tight end in the late 1990s, Campbell took a class on leadership while pursing his undergraduate degree. The focus of one project paper was Parcells, who Campbell said shared many of the same beliefs as then-Aggies head coach R.C. Slocum.
“Just from a philosophy standpoint on how you play the game, offensively and defensively, it was like identical,” Campbell said. “It’s about running the football. Your quarterback makes smart decisions. You don’t win or lose with the quarterback. Your defense is balls-to-the-wall, all-out.
There, he is not talking about his philosophy, but those of his mentors: Bill Parcells and his Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum. Sure, he’s likely taken a lot of inspiration from both, but this was from back in the 1990s. It’s reasonable to believe he’s changed his outlook on the game, especially after spending the last five years with one of the most successful passing teams in the league in the Saints.
So while this isn’t a hire I’m going head over heels for, I’m at least going to wait to hear him speak and fill out a coaching staff before I make a full judgement.