The Matt Patricia era in Detroit ended in disaster after fewer than three seasons, leading to his dismissal in November 2020.
Patricia wasn't exactly the most beloved figure in his short stint with the Lions as he sparred with both the media and his players before an ugly exit from Detroit. So who have the Lions tabbed to replace Patricia? Enter Dan Campbell.
Campbell comes to Detroit after five seasons as New Orleans's tight ends coach and assistant to the head coach, previously logging a decade in the NFL as a tight end from 1999–09. And based on his introductory press conference Thursday, Campbell appears to be bringing a dash of, well, intensity to Detroit.
What exactly do we mean by that? Check out how Campbell described the ideal mindset of his new team:
"We’re gonna kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back we’re gonna smile at you, and when you knock us down we’re going to get up, and on the way, we’re going to bite a kneecap off," Campbell said Thursday. "We’re going to stand up, and it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we’re going to take your other kneecap, and we’re going to get up, and it’s gonna take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we’re gonna take another hunk out of you."
You can watch Campbell's full answer below. Perhaps Detroit's new coach is a bit unhinged, but entering his first year with the Lions, nobody can question his intensity.
It may take a bit more than kneecap-biting for Campbell to bring the Lions back to their glory days (if they even exist). Detroit has missed the playoffs in each of the last four years, and the franchise has not won a postseason game since 1991. Leading wide receiver Kenny Golladay is a free agent. Matthew Stafford's future with the franchise is unclear. But while Campbell can't exactly promise an abundance of wins in 2021, he's certainly not lacking in passion. Perhaps Campbell's sheer force of will can bring Detroit out of the NFC North cellar sooner than later.