Those first few “Hard Knocks” clips really impressed me. Judging by the title of this article, they impressed me enough to jump head first into the potential freezing hot takes pool. I can’t help it. That “we’ll tread water as long as it takes to fucking bury you” line hit me right in the feels.
The idea that Campbell could win coach of the year isn’t a crazy thought. It’s been one of the more popular wagers on betting sites. And guys like Jim Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Matt Nagy and Marvin Lewis have all recently won coach of the year for flipping the record their teams from really bad to pretty good. Can Campbell be next?
Let’s take a look at some of the things that Dan Campbell needs to get done in order to win that coach of the year award in 2022.
Finish with a winning record
In order to get the award, you’ve got to get the wins. Only one coach has won the coach of the year with a losing record. That was Jimmy Johnson in 1990. I guess the league felt that flipping the Cowboys from 1-15 to 7-9 was good enough to win the award. I can see why they thought that.
The world is a different place now. It’s all about the winning record now. If Campbell could take the Detroit Lions from a three-win team to a team that’s above .500, he’ll definitely find himself in the conversation.
Make the playoffs
It seems like the Lions making the playoffs would immediately lock down the award for Campbell. After all, this is a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2016 season and, as I said a second ago, they only won three games last year.
There’s more to the story, though. The Lions were a team that was seemingly torn apart during the Matt Patricia era. If the Lions were a house, when Campbell got it, it was torn down to the studs. For Campbell to turn that frame into an HGTV-level house in year two would be well worth an award.
Campbell arguably had more signature wins in his first year than Patricia had during his entire tenure. The team had wins over two playoff teams in year one and for a short period, Dan Campbell and the Lions had everyone on notice.
This needs to continue. The Lions need to do things like beat the Packers, Cowboys and Bills. They don’t need to win them all, but if they could rattle off two of those, those kind of wins are remembered and are surely taken into account when deciding who wins the award.
Keep being Dan Campbell
I think it’s more than fair to say that people love this guy. What’s not to love? He’s funny, he’s a good guy, and by all accounts, he appears to be a great coach so far. A Dan Campbell interview or presser is a must watch. The guy is a quote machine, and its to the point where the t-shirt he’s wearing is getting him rave reviews.
People are already paying a lot of attention to Dan Campbell. They’ll continue to do so when Hard Knocks premieres next week. That could be a bad thing if the Lions season goes sideways. It could be a really good thing if it doesn’t. If the Lions are good and Campbell has become a charismatic darling, the award could be definitely be headed his way in 2022.