This week, the Detroit Lions announced that for the first time in Ford Field history, they have sold out of season tickets. It’s yet another sign that excitement and expectations for the Lions—who finished the 2022 season on an 8-2 run—are sky-high in Detroit.
But if you think those elevated hopes in Detroit are adding more pressure on coach Dan Campbell to deliver this year, you don’t know Dan Campbell.
“Nah, I don’t feel weight, I feel wind underneath my freakin’ wings,” Campbell said on Saturday. “That’s what I feel. Truthfully.”
“I love this, man,” Campbell continued. “This is outstanding. I love our fans. I love it. And they feel it like we feel it. No, this is not a burden, this is not pressure, this is not weight. This gives me inspiration is what it does for me and our guys.”
The message inside and outside the building has been consistent with the team’s players and coaches. Many of the same people who are suddenly putting expectations on the team were the same ones who were first to bury this regime when they started 4-20-1 under Campbell. So while the idea of a packed Ford Field this season can be uplifting and inspiring, Campbell knows that they have to block out most of the noise coming from the media this time of year.
“You guys have a job to do,” Campbell said to the media. “So do (the players). We’ve got a job to do. We have to stay true to what we know works and trust what our eyes see and what we feel.”