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Dan Campbell Signs Six-Year Deal to Coach Lions

SIX years? That seems like an awful long contract for Campbell's first head coaching gig. He spent the last five seasons as assistant head coach for the Saints. Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn will come with him from New Orleans as defensive coordinator.

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58 comments, Last at 30 Jan 2021, 12:16am

15 I probably shouldn't have…

I probably shouldn't have posted, since I had to leave for work a few minutes after.  I don't know much about Dan Campbell actually; it's Aaron Glenn I like.  I liked him when he played for the Jets, and I like what he's done since, especially coaching the Saints secondary when they became good.  Of course, Lattimore probably would have been good anyway.

As for Dan Campbell, there was griping on Gang Green Nation that the Jets should have interviewed him, so I assumed he was a highly regarded candidate.  Perhaps I'm wrong about that.  The Jets did interview Aaron Glenn for their head coaching job, even though Glenn is only a secondary coach.

29 Well to back up your initial…

Well to back up your initial impression, the Lions owner said that when they interviewed Terry Fontenot and another Saints front office guy (forget his name) for the GM spot, and asked them their first choice for HC, they both said Dan Campbell.  So at least he was highly regarded in the Saints organization.

37 A few years back he was the…

A few years back he was the interim HC for the Dolphins after whomever got fired and did a pretty good job. That in itself isn't a huge qualification, but it's something at least. And then there's whatever it was he did for the Saints.

40 I looked it up last week,…

I looked it up last week, and Joe Philbin started 1-3, and Cambell took over, gave them somewhat of an immediate boost, and ended up 5-7 as interim.  I honestly don't remember that Dolphins team, but one of the Lions websites interviewed a Dolphins beat writer (can't remember if it was Armanda Salguero or someone else), who said that getting 5 more wins out of that "disaster of a team" was impressive.  DVOA says they were -21% and 29th in the league.  I don't know if that's a mark in favor of or against Cambell.

44 Ah, Philbin. Yeah, it was a…

Ah, Philbin. Yeah, it was a terrible team, poorly coached, the players tuned out. Campbell came in and the team played hard until the end. Overachieving is likely good, though I don't know if he deserves the credit.

The key, I believe, will be his coaching hires.Campbell's got the attitude thing down pat. If he surrounds himself with good coaches and lets them work, he will make Detroit a happy town.

2 Very interesting after that…

Very interesting after that lost Jared Cook fumble this weekend.

And he was apparently on their 0-16 season IR lol

4 There are plenty of reasons…

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about this hire, but I don't think a single event like a fumble is one of them.  Should Kirk Cousins playing poorly in the Divisional playoffs last year have made people more down on Stefanski?

3 This franchise has earned…

This franchise has earned zero benefit of the doubt, so I can't help but feel a bit skeptical that they picked him over Bienemy or another successful coordinator.  I guess they wanted to go with someone they were sure the players would get along with after what they went through with Patricia.

How I end up feeling about this hire will 100% depend on who his coordinators are.  Aaron Glenn (if he ends up signing) for DC is a good start.

How do Dolphins fans feel about his tenure as interim HC back in 2015?

6 I sort of get why after…

I sort of get why after Fontes and Moeller and Cullen and Cooter and Lewand and Patricia, that Detroit didn't want another staffer with a history of drug and assault issues.


And Fontes was one of their better coaches!

8 Yes that's why

NOW they have a change of heart. Even though that isn't were the biggest criticisms have come from when the Lions hire people. Weird. 

12 On that note, the metoo…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

On that note, the metoo/cancel culture convergence had risen sufficiently at the time, that the Lions could likely realistically have backed out of the Patricia hire when the dropped case news broke. 

Probably would have been the wrong move given the time lapsed, although like with Kobe, we would be having a completely different conversation if the incident had happened more recently. 

19 You think they had enough money

to find out this information way ahead of time. 

Then again we know why Urban Meyer retired (again) due to health issues just two years ago. Because allowing that stuff can be stressing, but no one is really criticizing the Jags. 

30 Well, Urban's health issues…

Well, Urban's health issues are legitimate, and will happen over so many years in high-pressure coaching at a time. Zach Smith-gate was a contributing factor but not the sole one with OSU.

The first "resigning due to health issues" from Florida was also, supposedly, partly because his wife found out he was having an affair, though.

13 I guess they wanted to go…

I guess they wanted to go with someone they were sure the players would get along with

Campbell is a former player, but is he really a 'player's coach'?  Isn't he the guy that was forcing Dolphins vets to do Oklahoma drills a few years back?  If anything, he strikes me as a throwback hard-assed coach.

14 I’ve heard interviews with…

He does have a reputation as a players’ coach. I’ve heard interviews with his former players on the Dolphins and the Saints, and they all seem to love him.  Every one of them say some variation of “I’d run through a wall for that guy.”

38 I think he's both. A run…

I think he's both. A run/defense first tougher-than-you kind of coach. Must have been in Pete Carroll's short list for OC. Not a disciplinarian, though. The Oklahoma's were about toughness, not discipline.

16 Re: Bienemy

I keep hearing people criticize teams for not hiring or interviewing him. Is he actually interested in these vacancies? I've been out of the loop on him, but people talk like he's being blacklisted by clubs but it doesn't seem like he's champing at the bit for them either. Personally, if had to choose between being OC under Reid for the next three years or coaching the clown show that is Detroit, the dumpster fire that is the Jets, or the apathetic cow pie that is the Jags, I'd stick with Reid 1000%.

18 Bieniemy

In reply to by coltsandrew

He can't be hired yet until the Chiefs are out of it. I do think he did some interviews during the Chiefs bye week. Of course, Daboll from BUF hasn't even had a chance to interview yet.

21 Most have interviewed him.

In reply to by coltsandrew

But I don't buy that excuse either. Why take the interview in the first place then? Dont think he learns how it's any worse through an interview. So he must be interested. But we know when Arthur Smith, etc getting offered the job but we don't w/EB. Oh and you better believe we'd hear about him turning it down. Teams would jump at throwing the ball back in his court saying "We offered, he just rejected." But all they do is leak the vague statement of " he interviews badly." 

Also none of these are appealing over the past 3 years? Cleveland x2, NY Jets x2, Detroit, Denver Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay, Washington, Carolina, Miami, Arizona, Tampa Bay, NY Giants, Philly, Houston (after initially dissing him), or Dallas (only interviewed McCarthy and Marvin Lewis iirc). That's 18 different teams and 20 different chances...I mean IDK what else to say. That's literally over half the league. He's gotta like at least one of em. And you'd think at least of em would like him.

It'd be really odd to sit and wait for Reid to retire as he watched Reid get extended during their bye week this season.

Through all this lets say he is turning everything down. What does that say? That he's looking for the perfect opportunity. Why though? Adam Gase got a job, in division, ASAP despite being below .500. Mike McCarthy found another job. Why doesn't he feel he could do the same if he fails? 

He literally wants one actually now.

32 There's one very obvious…

There's one very obvious reason why Bienemy might feel like he would not get the same second/third chances as coaches like Gase, should he fail.

That said, I also think we probably underestimate the ego/self-confidence of coaches who work their way up to consideration for HC jobs. I know nothing about his thought process, but I doubt he looks at most of the bottom-half teams in the NFL and thinks "I better not go there, because I'll get fired in 2-3 years when I don't turn things around."

33 True

I, again, doubt he's being very picky. Nothing will be perfect but everyone (should) know that.

Wasn't the Chargers job the most appealing? And they "waited" til the Rams were eliminated. They can't wait another week in case the Chiefs get bounced (then they'll hold that against him I bet)? Was Staley that in demand? Lions "waited" for Campbell, but couldn't wait a few more days? Dude realizes that he literally can't wait for the perfect opening (or rather all em) when his offenses are playing late into the season. 

34 The only guy on either of…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

The only guy on either of the 2019 SB staffs who got picked up was Joe Woods (49ers DB coach), who was hired to be Stefanski's DC. He had previous been Denver's DC, though, so he was basically returning to his previous level.

Neither Saleh nor noted white devil Spags got hired after the SB, though, either. 

It seems like it's mostly Pats coordinators who get hired after a SB appearance. A ghastly legacy that is.

57 For the record

are you not going to stand up and call things a spade when you see them? I'll answer after you answer mine because it seems like your answer is no.

7 Weird

Really odd choice, tight end coach, why not some coordinator or some head coach, what made em pick him? i haven  heard of him. lets see how it develops

11 Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch…

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch got 6-years on their rookie head-coach/GM deals.  Sometimes that's the only way to get a good coach to a crappy franchise. 

17 Three years ain't what it used to be

Given how badly screwed up the cap situation is in some places (sorry, Rivers), four years is the minimum amount of time it would take be even slightly competitive. You can't blame guys for not wanting to give up their cushy coordinator jobs to be sacrificial lambs on a 3 or 4 year contract.

20 I have come around to the…

I have come around to the idea that the role of a head coach is more a CEO than a strategist, so I'm not opposed to hiring someone like a tight ends coach if he's the right guy. We've seen enough Belichick disciples flame out while guys like John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin succeed to know that being a coordinator isn't a prerequisite (Tomlin was a coordinator for one year prior to his hire, but ran a dramatically different defense than his Pittsburgh teams have had, and he's been relatively hands-off with the Steelers' defensive schemes).

That said, I don't think any of us knows whether Campbell is indeed a successful CEO-type. And it will be vital to hire good coordinators, especially on offense.

23 It is.

At least partially. But if you're not the greatest at it you can always lean/fall back on a good scheme/innovate strategies. Because if you aren't good at that, then you're relying on others that can get snatched up at any time.  

Like, what am I supposed to feel watching this? Lol. No offense to him but...eh okay? 

24 Andy Reid was never a…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Andy Reid was never a coordinator in the NFL. He was TE/QB coach. He played offensive tackle in college. Hell, he was never a coordinator at D-I level!

Fortunately, he's always had good coordinators around to protect his lack of offensive knowledge.



26 “Like, what am I supposed to…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

“Like, what am I supposed to feel watching this? Lol. No offense to him but...eh okay?”

You’re supposed to feel mirth?  Because I thought it was pretty funny.

To be fair, on other parts of the press conference, he did talk some X’s and O’s, and specifically said he’s not married to a particular scheme, but prefers to adjust around the players/matchups he has, and acknowledges that the NFL is a passing league.  I have no idea if Campbell will be any good, but this was music to my ears after the Matt Patricia experience.

39 Yup, that tweet is probably…

Yup, that tweet is probably all you need to know about Campbell. I'd wager he doesn't really believe it's a passing league. At best you're getting the next Pete Carroll.

41 He has said in interviews…

He has said in interviews that Sean Payton has had a huge influence on him about how he views the game, so maybe that suggests he's changed since his tenure with the Dolphins, but who knows?  Also would be fair to point out that the Saints have been pretty run-heavy lately.

45 Few in the NFL are the…

Few in the NFL are the changing type and he doesn't strike me as one of them, but maybe. An old-timey attitude is also not certain doom, as Carroll and Harbaugh have demonstrated.

48 This

I'll remain dubious because these types of rants usually arent coming from the analytical, xs and os, types of guys but hey, everyone lives on the exceptions. 

27 Vrabel was also a…

Vrabel was also a coordinator for just a year before he was talked up as a good candidate, just to add to your examples (the Lions did interview him, and god how I wish they made a different decision back then).

35 On a related note, the…

On a related note, the rocket scientist is back in NE now.

The ESPN article doesn't note an official title, unless I'm missing something, but Pats fans should hope he is nowhere above a waterboy.  Literally a defensive coach who can't coach defense...

36 Belichick gave him new pack…

Belichick gave him new pack of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils upom signing. Patricia alzo brougjt Roger Goodell clown t-shirt out of closet. Whar a turd he waa as Lpins head coach. Beginnninv ofd end was afrer Week 2 or 3? game jn 2020 when told repprter basically that  he is 4th quarter magician. Yeah, pencil clown douche, no Detrlit wants to hear that

 They want(ed) to see it. Hate when some loser wantz to blame someoje else and say basically,  "it is not my fault. I am 4th quarter wonderboy." 

Go put on your own clown suit, buddy. Take out your pencils and draw stuff.

43  "it is not my fault. I am…

 "it is not my fault. I am 4th quarter wonderboy." 

Yes, that was after week 2, when the Lions blew like their fifth double-digit lead in a row (going back to 2019), and the media asked if he needed to change the way he did things in the 4th quarter.  He got all huffy and defensive, and took credit for Malcom Butler making a great play in SB 49.

42 "Literally a defensive coach…

"Literally a defensive coach who can't coach defense..."

Man, you got that right.  He's like the defense version of Adam Gase.  A bunch of DET players who looked reasonable on the #15 defense from 2017 suddenly looked like they couldn't play anymore as soon as Patricia got to town.  Then his excuse was that he needed "guys who fit his system".  So they got a bunch of ex-Patriots, and the defense somehow got even worse.  

47 Aaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddd

Stafford requests a trade.

Maybe not head coach related but interestingly not done before the head coach was announced soooooo...yeaaahh

49 Was the Lynn hiring as OC…

Was the Lynn hiring as OC announced before or after Stafford's trade request? 

Or, for kicks and giggles, before or after the Patricia-back-to-Boston news?  Does Matt miss Matt?


51 He requested a trade right…

He requested a trade right after the season, but the team asked him to wait until a new GM and coach were hired.  So all the potential candidates they talked to were aware Stafford wanted out.  Maybe it was Saleh who said no to them, and not the other way around.