Whether you think Dan Campbell is the best NFL coach out there or overrated, chances are, you at least see that he’s somehow, someway changed the culture of the Detroit Lions. Before Campbell, there were years and years of “Same ol’ Lions” talk.
Really, the only coach who brought the kind of positive atmosphere that Campbell seems to bring to the Lions was Jim Caldwell, who was head coach from 2014–2017. With Caldwell, the Lions garnered more success than they had seen in decades. Moreover, Caldwell was seen as a positive, “father figure” kind of coach. Many Lions fans were straight-up irate when management let Caldwell go.
Now, Campbell is in the fold. Obviously, the buzz for the upcoming Detroit Lions season is huge. The team is being considered a major contender for the first time in years.
NFL Network analyst Michael Robinson is talking up Campbell and the direction that he’s taking the team. Robinson even chose the Lions to win the NFC North this season.
As for what he likes about Campbell, Robinson says (via Sports Illustrated), “He doesn’t feel like management. He doesn’t feel like he’s above you. He feels like he’s one of your teammates.” Robinson adds, “And, I think him and his staff, that’s why they should get so much credit for the turnaround. Not just, you know, for the wins on the field for the Detroit Lions, but definitely that culture and obviously, he’s an ex-player. So, that comes with a lot of street credibility.”
Robinson isn’t wrong. In just two seasons, Campbell has taken Detroit 3-13-1 to 9-8, on the verge of a playoff. Will he be able to keep the momentum up? Time will tell. But, many oddsmakers are banking on Campbell to break the Lions curse. Detroit is a popular choice among oddsmakers to win their first NFC North title in 2023. If they win, it would mark their first division championship since 1993. A win two decades in the making. I’m totally crossing my fingers.