clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Friday open thread: What should the expectations be for Dan Campbell’s first year?

He won the press conference, but now the real work begins.

NFL: NOV 15 Washington Football Team at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

All eyes were on Dan Campbell Thursday as he introduced himself to Detroit. The new Lions coach had quite the press conference, earning mixed reviews from the national media but pretty favorable responses from local fans. For those on the fence about the hire, at the very least he helped make his personally known.

Having a good introductory press conference is a nice way to start, but now the work starts for Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes. The coaching staff is coming together, though there are plenty of question marks all across the roster. It will be nearly eight months until we actually see the team take the field, but Week 1 will be here soon enough.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

What should the expectations be for Dan Campbell’s first year?

My answer:

The Lions made a big statement by signing Campbell to a six-year contract, a term that was longer than many new hires see. Accordingly, 2021 will not by any means be make-or-break for either the front office or coaching staff, especially if the team does look to rebuild in any sort of capacity.

It can be difficult then to assign expectations to Campbell at this time, but regardless of whether the team looks to compete or not there are a couple things I need to see. Many come down to strategy: aggressiveness on offense as opposed to eating the clock, aligning the defense to the strength of the personnel, and a focus on analytics. If Campbell can show tangible progress in these areas, I will call that a good first season.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.