According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the former New Orleans Saints assistant head coach has agreed to a six-year deal to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Campbell, 44, was an assistant head coach and tight end coach with the Saints since 2016, working under the offensive mastermind that is Sean Payton.
On Tuesday, newly-appointed Lions general manager Brad Holmes talked spoke about the type of people he wants around him during the “retooling” of the franchise. Holmes said that he wanted people that are enthusiastic about football. He also spoke strongly about the franchise’s need for leadership, no one in the organization having egos in the upcoming culture change, and the coach has to be a leader of men.
Campbell checks all of those boxes and then some.
Another feather in his hat is that this isn’t his first rodeo.
In 2015, Campbell was the interim coach for the Miami Dolphins are the team dismissed Joe Philbin. Campbell guided them to a 5-7 record before heading to the Saints. The Dolphins team he took over was in disarray. The fact he led them to five wins under the circumstances is a feat in itself.
Campbell had something going for him that none of the other Lions candidates did during the team’s interviews.
He knows the Lions culture firsthand.
Campbell played two seasons as a tight end for the Lions from 2006-2008. So yes, that means that he was a part of that dreadful 0-16 season under then-Lions coach Rod Marinelli.
While that fact could cause some Lions fans to grow, it could work in his favor. Hiring a leader of men is one thing. Hiring someone familiar with the organization and who understands what needs to change is another.
Campbell will bring that.
“This is an exciting day for our organization as we introduce Dan Campbell as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions”, said Lions owner Sheila Ford-Hamp.
“With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigors of professional football and what it takes to be successful.”
“He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves.”
Campbell will have his work cut out for him.
It’s something Dan Orlovsky alluded to several weeks ago.
He stated that the next head coach of the Detroit Lions will have to truly rebuild the roster. With Campbell accepting a six-year deal, one can surmise the Lions know it too.