Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell brought a new level of intensity to the dais on his first day.
“I can give you, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this many games,” Campbell said. “None of that matters. And you guys don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve had enough of that (expletive). Excuse my language.”
A stark contrast to stoic predecessors such as Matt Patricia and Jim Caldwell, Campbell was virtually spewing fire at the microphone on Thursday as he was introduced as Lions head coach.
A first-time head coach, Campbell played 10 NFL seasons, including three with the Lions, and has been an assistant coach in the NFL for the past 11 years. Campbell, 44, sounded at times Thursday like he was ready to buckle the chin strap.
For moments during the session it was difficult to discern whether Campbell was conducting a professional wrestling spot or talking football.
That was Campbell in demeanor and description of how he expects his team to play in 2021.
“We’re going to bite a kneecap off.”
“We’re gonna kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you,” Campbell said. “And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up. And on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off. And we’re going to stand up and it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we’re going to take your other kneecap and it’s going to take three shots to get us down. And on the way down, we’re going to take another hunk out of ya. Before long, we’re going to be the last one standing. That’s going to be the mentality.”
Campbell signed a six-year deal, coming from the Saints where he served as assistant head coach to Sean Payton. He’ll also bring along former NFL cornerback Aaron Glenn, who was on the coaching staff in New Orleans and becomes defensive coordinator in Detroit.
The Lions were 5-11 in 2020 and last won the division championship in 1993.
Lions coach Dan Campbell channels Jeffrey Lebowski
Campbell is not a typical coach, as evident from the Thursday microphone time, and his office nameplate in Allen Park, Mich., reads Dan Campbell. Head Coach/The Dude.
While he has a lighter side, he wants visitors — to clarify, opposing teams — to know these are no longer the same old Lions.
“When you come in here, you’re going to get beat up,” Campbell said. “I’m talking about the team. Not the city. Tourists are welcome.”
–Field Level Media