In Dan Campbell’s introductory press conference, he knew it was going to take some time to bring people on board. He knew fans had been packaged and sold something similar before.
“Look, I don’t want to sell you guys something that you’ve been sold so many times over and over,” said Campbell back in January. “Believe me, I get it. I wouldn’t want any of you guys to just jump on board right now and be like, ‘Oh, I’m a sold.’ I got it. One hundred percent. I wouldn’t expect you to.”
Less than two weeks later, amidst the national media lampooning Campbell over a soundbite, the Detroit Lions would trade away franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, officially hitting the reset button on not only the team’s trajectory but their identity as well.
“But I’m going to do everything in my power to win you guys over and get our team to win you guys over,” Campbell told the fanbase. “At the end of the day, I know wins and losses are the only thing that matters, but when I say that I want our team to take on the identity of this city, I mean it... It’s going to mean something. It’s going to mean that when you come into Detroit, you’re going to leave beat up.”
All this leads us to today’s Question of the Day...
What does Dan Campbell need to do in Year 1 to win you over?
Campbell knows he’ll ultimately be judged on his wins and his losses, but this upcoming season, all eyes will be on the second part of Campbell’s inaugural initiative: establishing the team’s identity.
In their first season, I need to see from Campbell and Co. a football team all pulling in the same direction. I need to see an informed group of individuals being prepared and then functioning as one unit on gameday—yes, all 11 of them. I need to see a team that will refuse to roll over as the Lions did last year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The wins and losses aren’t the currency Campbell is dealing in this season. It will be, but hopefully, the foundation of a football team committed to representing the fortitude of this city will be put into place, setting the team up for future success.