Former Great Pittsburgh Head Coach Bill Cowher and Dan Campbell resemble each other a great deal, and from the way he handled himself on the CBS broadcasts, there seems like there are personality similarities - clear, straight talking, and with a strong presence. I also recall Cowher doing various drills with the players during the preseason, like Campbell has done.
I wonder if any other coaches come to mind when you watch Campbell. Wayne Fontes was the last colorful coach we had, but his physical presence and abilities to run with the players was far more limited. It's not that Campbell does drills that impresses me, it's really how he communicates, shows emotion and some enthusiasm, and seems very genuine.
Matt Patricia seemed like the antithesis to this. I didn't really like him from the get go, and so I can't say I'm entirely objective as to whether he had much presence, but I never thought he was being straight-forward, let alone really relating to and inspiring his players. His "process" seemed like he always thought he had to tear down a play-off contending team to remake it the "right way," into the "Patriot Way." That always made me feel ill.
Other past Lion head coaches I think of favorably and that be at least somewhat like Campbell include:
* Wayne Fontes - as previously mentioned, more colorful and enthusiastic than perhaps any other coach we've had.
* Jim Caldwell - well liked by his players, but seemed very low key, and I guess I wondered if more couldn't have been gotten out of the team than he delivered.
* Joe Schmidt - straight shooter, a pro, seemed to relate to his players and motivate them pretty well.
* Monte Clark - more stoic, but seemed like a hard worker, and he also liked to emphasize the running game.
Coaches I remember but didn't like very well:
* Matt Patricia - he tops my list of least liked coach I can recall.
* Darryl Rogers - he just seemed to make my skin crawl for some reason, and seemed to be a bit of a con artist.
* Marty Mornhinweg - don't remember much other that he was the first in a line of M coaches hired by the worst GM in the history of the NFL (Matt Millen).
* Steve Mariuchi - simply came across as too much of an "expert" that really wasn't inspiring or related to the players in my opinion.
* Rod Marinelli - seemed like a nice guy, but how did he lose 16 games?
* Gary Moeller - apparently had some psychological problems and well it ruined his potential as a great coach.
* Bobby Ross - I don't like it that he gave up on the team. I suppose he was one of our better results coaches, although his words still echo in my mind: practice right, plan right, but you got to execute right - that just seemed like he blamed the players too much.
* Jim Schwartz - he just seemed to do stupid things, which really bugged me. He did seem to relate to the players and fans pretty well, so he wasn't all bad, just wondered if he had any more tricks up his sleeve than recruiting his former players to lead the way (Stephen Tulloch, Kyle Vanden Bosch, etc.).
Coaches that we've had and I've seen coach, but just didn't firmly make much impression on me include:
Dick Jauron, Rick Forzano, Tommy Hudspeth, Don McCaffrey, Darrell Brevelle, and Robert Prince. I think I hoped for the best from each, at least one, and I think two, died while on the job, if I recall correctly.
Outside of the Lions' coaching tree and Bill Cowher, do any other coaches remind you of Cambell? I sort of could picture Cambell as a modern version of Don Shula.