Detroit Lions hire NO Saints TE Coach & Asst. HC Dan Campbell as Head Coach
The Detroit Lions have announced that the head coach position has been filled by New Orleans Saints tight ends coach and assistant head coach Dan Campbell. Dan has been in the league since 1999 as a player and a coach. He'll join former LA Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes, who now serves as general manager of the Lions.
As a player
Dan was a tight end for the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints. He was primarily a blocking tight end that has been remembered for his toughness, as well as his passion, enthusiasm and leadership. He spent 3 years in Detroit, 2 of which were cut seriously short due to injury - A lowlight being part of the '08 0-16 team (though he only played 1 game before being placed on IR and didn't return the following season). He then spent 1 year with the Saints' Super Bowl winning team in '09 (however he didn't play that season and retired during the off-season).
As a coach
In 2010, he joined the Miami Dolphins as a coaching intern and quickly worked his way up to tight ends coach. After a disappointing start to the 2015 season, Joe Philbin was fired as HC of the Dolphins with a record of 1-3. Dan Campbell then took over as interim head coach, finishing with a record of 5-7. He wasn't brought back by the Dolphins for the following season, yet was hired by the Saints as tight ends coach and assistant head coach in 2016. He has served in that position ever since.
What will he bring?
His legacy so far as a coach is representative of his playing days. He's a tough, hard-working guy and a real leader. He's also passionate, enthusiastic and has a real rapport with his players. He has been loved by players in both Miami and New Orleans, and that was evident during his tenure as interim HC there. The first 2 games saw the Dolphins win both in blowouts. The players had seemingly responded well to Campbell's coaching style (despite him running Oklahoma drills as his first drill in his first session). He wants his players to work hard but he also wants them to enjoy themselves at every moment. His love of football and success as a coach, particularly as interim HC in Miami, and as asst. HC in NO, has lead to many who have worked with him questioning why it's taken so long for him to land the top spot.
While a clear leader, there are question marks around his abilities with the "X's and O's" of as a coach, however, with appropriate hires at the OC/DC position, that won't be too much of an issue. Aaron Glenn, DB coach at the Saints is reported to be the DC for the Lions under Campbell. Glenn is very much an "X's and O's" guy and will be a huge support to Dan and the defence.
As a player:
2005 Ed Block Award
2009 Super Bowl (didn't play a game)
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