New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is well aware of how the supporters of the team feel about the failures of the organization.
After stepping foot in a Mobil gas station near the practice facility, the former Lions tight end and first time NFL head coach quickly discovered just how blunt certain fans can be.
"He wanted to know about why we let (Matthew) Stafford go,” Campbell told MLive. “He’s like, ‘What the heck are you guys doing?’ And then he proceeded to tell me about how we ruined Barry Sanders, among others. He did tell me he’d have fresh tobacco by tonight or tomorrow, but he wanted to make sure he got his point across. And listen, I got it man.”
The task at hand is not going to be easy.
For decades, Detroit has struggled to find the winning formula.
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This time around, Detroit's new front office and coaching staff are taking a collaborative approach to move forward, following the disastrous tenure of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn.
At his introductory press conference, Campbell expressed he would work to try and win everybody over.
“Look, I don’t want to sell you guys something that you’ve been sold so many times over and over. Believe me, I get it. I wouldn’t want any of you guys to just jump on board right now and be like, ‘Oh, I’m sold.’ I got it. One hundred percent. I wouldn’t expect you to.
“But I’m going to do everything in my power to win you guys over and get our team to win you guys over. At the end of the day, I know wins and losses are the only thing that matters. But, when I say that I want our team to take on the identity of this city, I mean it," Campbell said. "They’re going to hear that from me. This is the first time that they’ve heard it, just like you have. But, they’re going to hear it from me, and it’s going to mean something from me. It’s going to mean something. It’s going to mean that when you come into Detroit, you’re going to leave beat up.”