Detroit’s new Lions trainer, Dan Campbell, spoke up in a passionate, emotional, intense and sometimes hilarious hour-long press conference by speaking about biting kneecaps and greeting tourists by pointing out “The Big Lebowski” as he approached his new city and introduced him to his new team.
If there were questions about the kind of passion Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team president Rod Wood were looking for in their next head coach, it was evident from the moment Campbell got on the microphone to the moment he did it left.
Campbell gave a 19-minute opening speech, providing direct answers on a variety of topics and expressing exactly what kind of team he wanted – one that reflected the city he once played for.
“This place has been kicked. It has been struck. It was injured. And I could sit up here and give you coachspeak all day,” Campbell said on Thursday. “I can tell 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 it – excuse my language.
“Here’s what I know. This team is going to take on the identity of this city and this city went down and found a way to get up. It found a way to overcome adversity, right? So this team will do it.” Be built on it, we’re going to kick your teeth, right? And if you hit us back, we will smile at you. And if you knock us down, we’ll get up and on the way up we’ll bite off a kneecap. All right then? And we’ll get up and it’ll take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up we’re going to take your other kneecap and we’ll get up and it’ll take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we’ll take another piece of you.
“Before long we will be the last ones standing. That will be the mentality.”
Campbell’s message about the passion with which his team should play and with which he should train was clear. He admitted that part of what he was selling Thursday was parking space for potential vacant 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 to get through to them.
Campbell also showed his sense of humor and started his introduction with a joke. He landed in Detroit by telling his agent Rick Smith to make sure the Lions believed they were going to meet with Iowa state coach and hot NFL coach Matt Campbell.
And Campbell recognized his resemblance to the character The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski,” and said he’d heard the comparison before, but “the hair is not what it used to be”.
The Lions apparently accepted the reference to “The Big Lebowski” and identified Campbell as “Head Coach / The Guy” on the nameplate outside his office.
The new nameplate that hangs in front of the new office for the new Lions HC Dan Campbell – The Dude. 📸 @Lions. pic.twitter.com/y6xKVy58FB
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 21, 2021
Campbell said after the press conference he would switch from his suit to team-exhibited equipment and get to work, which he did shortly afterwards. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Campbell and the Lions have hired New Orleans Saints assistant Aaron Glenn as the new Detroit Defense Coordinator.
Campbell had mentioned Glenn during the press as a candidate he hoped would join him in Detroit.
“It’s no secret that I spoke to Aaron Glenn about the defensive coordinator,” said Campbell. “I was with him [in New Orleans]. He’s definitely someone I’m interested in. But I am working on it. “
It’s that combination of things that Ford Hamp and Wood sold. In searching, Wood said the Lions looked on four main criteria: “A leader of men, someone who could rule the space and attention of the entire team; the temperament to deal with the grind of an NFL season and deal with losses , Injuries and outside distractions; a positive voice for the entire organization to the media, league, colleges, staff and our fans, and the ability to assemble great people. “
“We’re going to kick your teeth, right? And if you hit us back we’ll smile at you. And if you knock us down we’ll get up and be on our way up, we’re going to bite off a kneecap. And we’ll get up and.” it’ll take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up we’ll take your other kneecap and we’re gonna get up and take three shots to get us down. And if we do, we’ll get you take another piece away. We’ll be the last to stand shortly. ”
Lions trainer Dan Campbell
Ford Hamp said Campbell sent a book on his coaching philosophy before her first interview and “literally I read his culture and leadership statement and it was like reading our minds.”
“We have to bring some hope back to this town, man,” said Campbell. “I’m ready to do anything. Look, I think I’m a big worry person and a lot of you will think I’m a little bit crazy here, but I think you can be things in some ways happen.
“If you are a really positive thinker, I think that positive things can happen to you and those around you that grow out of it, and they feel your energy.”
The former close end of the NFL understands what he’s getting into with the Lions. He played three seasons in Detroit, including part of the 2008 team that played 0-16 – although he admitted he was injured for most of the year on Thursday and spent time rehabilitating in Texas, he wasn’t in everyday life .
But Campbell, 44, was a gamer, he was an assistant, and he was head coach in a temporary capacity with the Miami Dolphins in 2015.
Campbell has also spent the past half a decade studying with the Saints under Sean Payton, a man and organization he credited time and again during his inception and talked about emotionally. So he has a handle on what he believes and how he believes it.
“I think the football team can do something great here. But listen, I believe that to my core man,” said Campbell. “Look, I don’t want to sell you something that has been sold so many times – believe me, I understand. And I don’t want any of you to just jump on board now and it’s like,” I’m sold, I have it 100 percent. “
“I wouldn’t expect it from you. But I’ll do everything in my power to win you over and get our team to win you over. In the end, I know that wins and losses are the only ones. ” What matters. But when I say our team should take on the identity of this city, I mean it. “