Lions first-year head man Dan Campbell has heard the criticism about his play-calling loud and clear the last two weeks.
The challenging aspect of reviewing Campbell's decision-making has been his willingness to be ultra-aggressive against the Rams and then taking a turn to become more passive on third and fourth down the past couple of weeks.
He talked about it during his media session with reporters on Monday.
“I think it’s no different than anything else. You always look at yourself and figure out where you can improve,” Campbell told reporters. “Certainly, there’s a couple of calls I wish I could have back. I think that certainly finding some runs has been pretty good. You know, I feel like just mixing it up and letting those guys go upfront has been pretty good and has helped us. We kind of found a running game here."
Campbell added, "I think that there’s maybe a couple of calls there, where … you know, it’s tough to say because you could say well, maybe we ‘ought to pass it here. But also, we want to be mindful of the first week you’ve got a guy who’s you know, you don’t feel like he can push the ball down the field. You want to be smart. The conditions aren’t good. You come back with another game where the conditions aren’t great, and Boyle hasn’t … it was his first start. So, just, you go back and forth on that one. Do you try to take care of him? Do you try to get it with Swift on the ground? Or do you put it in his hands? So, you play that game a little bit. Certainly, there’s things I wish I could have back. But, I’m growing at it, as well.”
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Something that could help Campbell’s offense out moving forward is getting the wide receivers more involved.
Lions backup Tim Boyle, starting in the place of Jared Goff in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns, connected with just one traditional receiver on Sunday: Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown finished with four catches and 18 yards on the afternoon.
“Look, I think what’s going to help us is getting a first down. If we can get a first down and sustain a drive, then we get a couple more plays to try to put it in the hands of our receivers, whether that’s a run or a short pass,” Campbell said. “So, I think to be able to really help those guys out, I think we’ve got to convert on third down. You know, we’re way too low right now. I mean, even if you can convert one or two more times each game, you allow yourselves at a minimum six plays. You don’t know where that’s going to go. So, I think everything starts there.”