After being fired from his job as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, Anthony Lynn was considering taking a year off. He had been on the sidelines of football since he was six years old, and he was ready for a break. The Seattle Seahawks apparently had early interest in him, but he appeared ready to simply sit out for a year.
Then Dan Campbell came calling. The new Detroit Lions coach made a plea to Lynn to put off a year hiatus and join the Lions, and it worked.
“When they called, I had to go because I wanted to be a part of that. I knew it was going to be special,” Lynn said recently on the “Compas on the Beat” podcast (via Pro Football Talk).
Of course, the Lions knew Campbell was capable of recruiting coaches like this. It’s one of the main reasons they hired him in the first place. Team president Rod Wood talked to Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, who told him Campbell was going to build an amazing staff in Detroit.
“Dan is the kind of head coach that coaches are going to run to Detroit and want to be on his staff,” Wood recalled Loomis telling him.
As for Lynn, part of the appeal was working alongside coaches he already knows and trusts. Both Campbell and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn played for the 2005 Dallas Cowboys, when Lynn was the running backs coach for the team.
“I got to know those two very well,” Lynn said. “They handled themselves like coaches as players. And so because coach [Bill] Walsh kind of picked me out and sat me aside and talked to me about coaching and it worked, I try to do the same thing with current players. I just helped plant that seed — when you’re done playing, that’s something I think you should do. And I did that with Dan and Aaron Glenn.”