Earlier this week, Detroit Lions owner Sheila Hamp made a rare media appearance to express her frustration over the team’s 1-5 start to the season.
“It’s hard, and it’s really hard to stay disciplined,” Hamp said. “No one hates losing more than I do, than my family does, but it’s just–we’ve just gotta go through it.”
But the larger message from Hamp’s four-minute question and answer session was that she still has full confidence in both coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes.
“I just don’t want everyone to push the panic button and give up the ship, because I think we’ve got the right people in place to pull this off,” Hamp said. “And I truly believe that, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t believe it.”
During his Friday press conference, Campbell responded to that public vote of confidence, showing appreciation for a gesture the Lions owner didn’t have to make.
“I appreciate it, she didn’t have to do that,” Campbell said. “And certainly, I appreciate that and I know that – I know that we have her support. But I don’t take that for granted. I don’t take it lightly either, I know that that’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. It’s not easy on anybody. But certainly, I appreciate it.”
There have been plenty of debates in recent weeks about whether the team’s rebuild is on schedule or not. Campbell has produced just four wins in 23 games while it seems like other rebuilding teams have lapped their progress.
Hamp argues that this process needs ample time, not just because it was a rebuild, but because the Lions needed to tear everything down first—from the culture, to the power structure of the organization, all the way down to the players.
“This, I would say, was a teardown, and then a rebuild,” Hamp said. “We really had to take it down to the ground level. And it’s been not only on the football side but across the organization. We’ve put in a lot of new talent at the top.”
Despite the extra time Hamp seems to be affording Campbell and Holmes, the Lions head coach said there is still pressure to perform because situations can change in a hurry and this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league.
“We’ve got to win,” Campbell said. “I mean there’s still urgency here. I mean, that’s never changed. This is a—we know what kind of business we’re in. I know what kind of business I’m in, and I know that the patience only goes so long.
“So, look, we’re trying to get one this week and then, after that takes place then you go get the next one. But I mean it’s all about winning. I mean, we’re not – we’re not trying to kick the can down the road. We’re not trying to say any of that. I mean, we’ve got a team here that I know can win and it’s my job to get them there.”