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We're going to kick you in the teeth. And when you punch us back, we're going to smile at you. And when you knock us down, we're going to 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 we're going to get up. And then it's going to take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we're going to take another hunk out of you.
New Lions head coach Dan Campbell had a compelling introductory press conference. He dwarfed the podium with his massive 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame. He spoke with a deep bass voice that matched his build, his goatee, and the literal blue collar of his Lions-colored dress shirt. His 20-minute soliloquy sounded like a single run-on sentence, punctuated with more ands, ums, and alrights than periods. He darted from topic to topic, seemingly bursting with ideas and the energy of the gallon of coffee he drinks each day. He was animated. He was sweating. And as he hit his climax with the vivid, now viral metaphor of how his players would bite the kneecaps off their opponents to demonstrate their toughness, I couldn't help but picture his interview for the job and ponder the Lions coaches that came before him.
Campbell was not a top head coaching prospect in the public eye. Those names included new Jaguars hire Urban Meyer, a three-time national title winner at Florida and Ohio State. They included new Jets hire Robert Saleh, coordinator of the 49ers Super Bowl defense from 2019. They included new Falcons hire Arthur Smith, the Ryan Tannehill whisperer. They included new Chargers hire Brandon Staley, a Sean McVay disciple. And they included the unhired Eric Bieniemy, Patrick Mahomes' sometimes playcaller and the embodiment of the lack of diversity at the top of the NFL.
Campbell was not even the top head coaching...