Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will a winning team in Detroit.
Dan Campbell and the Lions are about to embark on a multi-year rebuild that will require from patience from the Detroit fanbase. Not an easy ask, considering the fact that the Lions have experienced three straight losing campaigns and haven't won a playoff game since 1991.
“We want to build a consistent winner, so that every year we are in position to win the NFC North. There’s one way to do that: You have to build this from the ground up, and it’s got to come from the draft," Campbell said, via The Athletic
Enter new Detroit general manager Brad Holmes. His job will be to hit on as many draft picks over the course of his tenure in the Motor City -- something that he became known for as the director of college scouting with the L.A. Rams.
"Of course I want to win now,” Campbell told The Athletic. “Who doesn’t want to win now? And, we’ll do whatever we can to win now. But, not to sacrifice what we can become long term. I look at things two years out -- I don’t look at them right now. I want to know where we can be two years from now, even possibly three years from now. I know that’s crazy in this business, but if you want to have long-term success -- something you can sustain, something where we can create a winner here in the North for a long period of time -- you have to build it properly. You have to have building blocks. You have to have a core.”
Even in his first year in Motown, Campbell believes the Lions will be better, though, because of the coaching staff he has assembled.
Remember, Campbell brought in a myriad of coaches with NFL playing experience, including Anthony Lynn to be the team's offensive coordinator, Aaron Glenn to call the plays on defense, Duce Staley to serve as the running backs coach and Mark Brunell to coach up the quarterbacks.
"If we don’t make one other move right now, these guys on this roster are going to be better players than they were last year,” Campbell said. “I know that in my heart, because of the gentlemen that I’m bringing in to teach and coach. That’s a start.”
He added, "These guys, no matter what happens here, they’re going to instantly have somebody that can help them be better as players. They can help with their craft, with their fundamentals."
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It's why the onus once again is on Lions fans -- no matter how hard it may be -- to have a little faith and trust the process being set in motion by Campbell and Holmes.
“I don’t want to sell the bank to try to win right now. We’ll find guys to bring in that we think complement each other and we can make a fit here. But, I don’t want to just splurge on the high-priced free agent because he’s the best at his position," Campbell said. "We’re trying to build something special here. We’re trying to build this winning environment."
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