Kevin Clark at The Ringer wrote an extended profile on Dan Campbell that highlights the unvarnished and direct approach the Lions’ head coach takes to pretty much everything. The article reflects a ton of work, with input from folks who have known Campbell throughout his football career. There are stories from teammates and colleagues from former stops like Texas A&M teammate Dat Nguyen and former Miami Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum, but also a lot from the man himself.
There’s a fantastic tale about former Giants tight end Howard Cross from Campbell’s time as a rookie player in the NFL. Further down in the article, the Lions head coach offers some thoughts on what he learned from mentors like Bill Parcells and Sean Payton. As Lions fans watching the team and media sessions over the last few months, much of this feels familiar and pretty much what we expect to read and hear. But every so often there’s an unexpected gem, like the quick anecdote from a teammate about the time he saw Campbell wrestle a calf to the ground at the family ranch.
Don’t even need a clever tweet to sell this one: Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Campbell on life and football. He is not a meme, he’s just himself. https://t.co/n7vs4sPLEp— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) September 2, 2021
While the head coach’s blunt delivery sometimes draws zany headlines and eyerolls from the national media, it’s clear the atmosphere in Detroit has changed for the better. From the front office to the players, the response to Campbell’s style is consistently positive and engaged.
Brad Holmes asked about what he thinks about Dan Campbell's approach with the media ... "trying to figure out the way to say this ...— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 2, 2021
Campbell (laughing): "Just say next question ... "
If you have the chance, head on over and read about Detroit’s own “bizarro-world, jacked Ted Lasso.” It’s a fantastic inside look at what the players are talking about when they say this coaching staff is loaded with great communicators. It’s an organizational priority and philosophy that starts at the top with the head coach.
Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- ESPN’s Matthew Berry believes the passing offense in Detroit this season will go through T.J. Hockenson:
It's hard to find a tight end who has a strong chance to lead his team in targets.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 2, 2021
T.J. Hockenson is one of them. pic.twitter.com/h5mVS9AR3M
- San Francisco pass rushing terror Nick Bosa missed almost all of last season after a serious ACL injury in Week 2. According to Pro Football Talk, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said on the KNBR Shanahan Show podcast that he expects Bosa to see a lot of action against the Lions in the season opener next week.
- The Lions are second in the league in dead cap right now according to Spotrac:
Stafford accounts for $19 million of that. https://t.co/kK9KORwrz2— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) September 2, 2021
- MLive’s Ben Raven wrote about the confidence Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes have in defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, who faces the challenge of developing an “ultra-young secondary.”
- As pointed out by Jeff Risdon at Lions Wire, the seventh-round pick in next year’s draft that was part of the trade to acquire Trinity Benson is not the Lions’ original seventh-round pick. That pick was traded to the Browns for David Blough in 2019. The seventh-round pick in the Benson trade is the conditional seventh-round pick the Browns sent back in the Blough trade.
- ESPN is projecting the Detroit Lions to finish 6-11 and have the second overall pick in the 2022 draft.