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Mailbag: Will the Detroit Lions’ collaborative coaching style actually work?

Detroit’s power structure is pretty unique... but will it work?

Detroit Lions Off-Season Workout Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

This week, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell caught some criticism from national media figures for wearing a racing helmet to start his Thursday press conference. The beef was that great NFL coaches wouldn’t be caught dead doing something so silly or, in their words, a stunt for “dumb people.”

Many questioned whether Campbell is the right guy for the job from the second he took the podium and talked about kneecaps. Given the recent proliferation of perceived geniuses like Sean McVay, Bill Belichick and Andy Reid, Campbell’s “goofy” antics (again, their words), doesn’t jive with that trend.

But is there a chance the Lions are doing right by going against the grain. Right now, the Lions’ coaching setup appears to be pretty unique. Instead of trying to mimic another franchise—a strategy that has failed the Lions time and time again—Detroit is taking a collaborative approach. Campbell may not have a brilliant scheme in mind, but he has an up-and-coming defensive coordinator. He may not design the most intricate offensive plays, but he has a pretty well-respected former head coach at offensive coordinator. Campbell appears ready and willing to let those coaches coach while he stays out of their way. Or, as he put it earlier this offseason, “A true alpha knows when it’s time to concede for the betterment of the team.”

Could this collaborative approach work? Is there any true example of another team even trying this? What if those coaches are eventually plucked from another team? Would the Lions be able to maintain that harmonious working relationship?

That was one of the bigger topics during this week’s Locker Room question and answer session with Lions fans. Other questions include:

  • How will the Lions’ wide receiver group play out? Is there any chance they’re better than last year’s unit?
  • Is Brad Holmes going to play the compensatory pick game every year?
  • Are we buying the Tracy Walker hype? What role will he play?
  • Breaking down the specifics of the Lions’ defense
  • Any concern moving Trey Flowers to outside linebacker

And much, much more. Give it a listen:

To join our next Locker Room live Q&A session, be sure to download the Locker Room app (beta now available for Android!), follow @PrideOfDetroit, then open the app Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m. ET to join the show!

As always, you can catch the Q&As on our podcast feed the day after on any of the popular podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or iHeartRadio.