March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Dan Campbell's 0-10-1 start in Detroit taught him about his team's character

Dan Campbell's 0-10-1 start in Detroit taught him about his team's character

Dan Campbell is the toast of Detroit after coaching the Lions to their playoff run, but he remembers when his ugly start made some people doubt him. This gives him a renewed appreciation for the people who believed what he was doing.

Campbell said Friday that in 2021, when he was a first-year coach, Jared Goff was in his first year replacing Matthew Stafford as the Lions' starting quarterback and Brad Holmes was a first-year general manager, a lot of people were saying, 'I'm not a coach.' “Very good and he's not a very good quarterback and Brad's not a good talent evaluator.”

Although it took the Lions until Campbell's 12th game as head coach to win their first game, he said he learned a lot about Goff and some of the other key players because they never stopped believing in what he was trying to build.

“You can't listen to all that, but I just know that when all that stuff came to the surface, it was so bad, he was never bothered by it,” Campbell said of Goff. “That's impressive. It's easy when things are going well, you're winning games, guys like you, they want to be a part of it. When you're 0-10-1 you get to know people, you get to know the players, the coaches, the people in the organization. That's why you have My best visualization of who these people are, how they were created, what drives them, and what they would like to do for those around them. This is a much better perspective than if everything was going well and I got 12 wins. I know exactly what [Goff] Him, when it's at its worst, I'll kill that guy any day.

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Campbell was 4-19-1 in his first 24 games as Lions coach, and is 21-7 since then. It's been a remarkable turnaround, and he appreciates the people in the building who believed in him.