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Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes was appointed to this position in January 2021

after a 5-11 season and the dismissals of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia.

Detroit Free Press

After three lost seasons, in which they endured the quarrels in the locker room and looked wayward on the field, Detroit The Lions have a new coach and a new direction.

The Lions agreed to hire New Orleans Saints assistant Dan Campbell as their 28th head coach on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the situation, removing him from a group of candidates for his leadership and motivational abilities.

The deal is for six years, according to the source, who was given anonymity because he is still not allowed to speak publicly about the agreement.

Campbell replaces Matt Patricia, who was sacked on Nov. 28 after two seasons with a 13-29-1 record, and interim head coach Darrell Bevel and is the third former Lions player to coach the team in the Super Bowl era.

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Assistant head coach and narrow-minded coach for the Saints over the past five seasons, Campbell has never been a coordinator at any level, but played 11 seasons in the NFL with four different teams and went 5-7 as interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2015. г.

He appeared in 19 games with the Lions in 2006-08.

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“The great thing about him is that Dan is a tough guy now,” said longtime NFL assistant Greg Williams, the Saints’ defensive coordinator during a season of Campbell playing for the team. “Dan doesn’t take any nonsense and Dan is a man who, when he trained, trained how he played. And he was a great guy, but whenever you watch him do his craft or do his job, whenever he speaks to his teammates, you have to respect the example he set before talking to you. “

As Campbell played, he trained under Saints head coach Sean Peyton, and Peyton and NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcels were two of his coaches.

Campbell played three seasons for the Parcells with the Dallas Cowboys and worked with him as a coach for the first year when Parcells was at the Dolphins front office.

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He said that when he came out on the Luccicast podcast last summer, he was “fascinated” by Parcells and took copious notes on Parcells’ coaching style. The two share a similar philosophy of building a strong, intelligent defense, playing football with ball control in violation and letting the other team fight with mistakes.

Campbell said intelligent coaches need to be able to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents.

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“I’ll never forget it was like, ‘Man, what am I going to do to win?’ Campbell said in the podcast. “You can’t use the same thing in every game. Similarly, you have a philosophy, but not every opponent is the same. You have to judge each opponent, what there is and what you have and what the game is different every week and sometimes what beats this team will not beat this team this week. I just know it sounds like, “Well, that’s common sense.” But, man, I’m telling you, not everyone knows how to handle this like he does. “

Campbell and new Lions CEO Brad Holmes have never worked with each other before, but they share a common connection through Williams.

Their union in Detroit is a settled marriage, as the organization conducts parallel searches for coaches and GMs. Holmes was hired last Thursday after the Lions completed their first round of coaching interviews.

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Along with Campbell, the Lions have officially interviewed five other job candidates: Bevel, former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and coordinators Eric Bieniemi of Kansas City bosses, Arthur Smith of Tennessee Titans and Robert Salesko of Sun.

Smith canceled a second interview with the Lions to become the Falcons’ head coach, and Saleh was hired by the New York Jets.

The Lions did not conduct a second interview with their other candidates.

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Campbell and Holmes now have the lofty task of revising the Lions’ list. They need to restore the defense that eight new starters may need, depending on what happens to the defensive end of free agents Romeo Okvara. They have to decide whether to re-sign the broad successor Kenny Goladay or use the franchise label on it before the free agency. And they need to formulate a plan on how to continue with Matthew Stafford in the quarterback position and whether to focus on his possible replacement with the seventh pick from the NFL draft this spring.

Campbell is expected to bring with him second coach Aaron Glenn as defense coordinator and former Texas A&M strength coach Mike Clark as strength coach.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.