The new Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell, at a passionate, emotional, intense and sometimes fun press conference, lasted an hour, talking about a knee bite to greet tourists, referring to the “Big Lebowski” as he introduced himself to his new city and team.
If there were any questions about the kind of passion lion owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood were looking for in their next head coach, it was obvious from the moment Campbell stepped into the microphone until he left.
Campbell gave a 19-minute speech, gave direct answers on many topics and expressed exactly what type of team he wants – one that reflects the city he once played for.
“This place is kicked. It’s beaten. It’s bruised. And I can sit here and give you a coach all day,” Campbell said Thursday. “I can give you, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this weekend.’ None of this matters, and you don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve heard enough about this — excuse my tongue.
“Here’s what I know. This team will take on the identity of this city and this city has fallen and found a way to become it. A way has been found to overcome adversity, right? So this team will be upgraded, we will kick you in the teeth, And when you hit us with a blow, we’ll smile at you, and when you knock us down, we’ll get up, we’ll bite off the knee cap, okay, and we’ll stand up and take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we’ll take another knee cap and get up and take three shots to take us down, and when we do, we’ll take another piece out of you.
“Soon we will be last. That will be the mentality.”
Campbell’s message about the passion with which he wants his team to play and train with him was clear. He acknowledged that part of what he was selling on Thursday was land for potential free agents to come to Detroit.
It was also the first time any of Campbell’s new players had heard him speak, so he wanted the message passed on to them.
Campbell also showed his humor by beginning his performance by joking that he ended up in Detroit, telling his agent Rick Smith to make sure the Lions believed they were meeting with the Iowa state coach and the NFL hot coach. Matt Campbell.
And Campbell recognized his resemblance to the character The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges in “Big Lebowski,” saying he had heard the comparison before, but “the hair is not like before.”
Apparently, the Lions have embraced the reference to “Big Lebowski”, identifying Campbell as “Head Coach / Dude” on the sign hanging in front of his office.
The new sign that hangs in front of the new office for the new Lions’ HC Dan Campbell – The Dude. 📸 @Lions. pic.twitter.com/y6xKVy58FB
– Adam Sheffer (@AdamSchefter) January 21, 2021
Campbell said after the press conference that he would change his suit to outfit and get to work, which he did shortly afterwards. A source told ESPN’s Adam Shefter that Campbell and the Lions had hired New Orleans Saints assistant Aaron Glenn as the new defense coordinator in Detroit.
Campbell had mentioned Glenn in the press as a candidate hoping to join him in Detroit.
“It’s no secret that I spoke to Aaron Glenn about the defense coordinator,” Campbell said. “I was with him [in New Orleans]. He is someone I am certainly interested in. But I can handle that. “
This combination of things sells Ford Hamp and Wood. In the search, Wood said the Lions are looking for four main criteria: “A male leader, someone who can command the room and the attention of the entire team; temperament to cope with the NFL season, dealing with losses, injuries and distractions from the outside; positive a voice for the whole organization with the media, the league, the colleges, the staff and our fans and the ability to bring together excellent staff. “
“We’re going to kick you in the teeth, aren’t we? And when you hit us with a blow, we’ll smile at you. And when you knock us down, we’ll get up on the way up, bite off the knee cap. And we’ll stand up and take two more shots.” And on the way up we’ll take your other knee cap and we’ll get up and take three shots to take us down. And when we do, we’ll get another piece out of you. the last one. ”
Lions coach Dan Campbell
Ford Hump said Campbell sent a book with his coaching philosophy before their first interview and “I literally read his statement on culture and leadership and it was as if he read our minds.”
“We need to get some hope back in this town, man,” Campbell said. “I’m ready to do anything. Look, I think I’m a great person who deals with a lot of things and a lot of you will think I’m a little bun, but I believe you can make things happen. in some ways.
“If you’re a really positive thinker, I think positive things can happen to you and the people around you that grow out of it and they feel your energy.”
The former NFL tight end understands what he’s getting into with the Lions. He played three seasons in Detroit, including part of the 2008 team that went 0-16 – although he admitted Thursday that he was injured for most of this year and spent his time in rehab in Texas, so it wasn’t around every day.
But Campbell, 44, was a player, assistant and head coach on a temporary job in Miami Dolphins in 2015.
Campbell has also spent the past half decade studying under Sean Peyton with the Saints, a man and organization he has constantly credited with during his presentation and talked emotionally. So he deals with what he believes in and how he believes.
“I think the football team can do something great here. But, listen, it’s in my core that I believe in, man,” Campbell said. “Look, I don’t want to sell you something you’ve sold so many times – believe me I understand it. And I wouldn’t want any of you to just jump on board right now and be like, ‘I’m sold, I got it at 100 percent. “
“I wouldn’t expect you to do that. But I will do everything in my power to win you over and make our team win you over. At the end of the day, I know that wins and losses are the only things that matter. But when I say I want our team to take on the identity of this city, I mean it. “