No thank you, Pete. I'm going to take the year off.
Not a direct quote from new Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. But, reportedly, the former Los Angeles Chargers head man was planning on taking "a gap year" in 2021, even after Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks came calling about their coordinator vacancy earlier this offseason.
But, then, everything changed when the Lions tabbed Dan Campbell to be their next head coach. Campbell proceeded to call Lynn about the opportunity to be Detroit's new offensive play-caller, and the rest is now history.
Lynn, who served as the running backs coach of the Dallas Cowboys in Campbell's final season (as a player) in Dallas in 2005 and in each of first-year Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's two seasons (as a player) with the Cowboys (2005-06), talked about the appeal of coaching with Campbell and Glenn during a guest spot on this week's episode of the "Compas On The Beat" podcast. The show is co-hosted by NFL beat reporters Gilbert Manzano and Fernando Ramirez.
"I got to know those two very well. They handled themselves like coaches as players. And so because coach (Bill) Walsh kind of picked me out and sat me aside and talked to me about coaching and it worked, I try to do the same thing with current players,” Lynn said. “I just helped plant that seed -- when you’re done playing, that’s something I think you should do. And, I did that with Dan and Aaron Glenn.
“And, I was actually going to sit this year out. But, when they called, I had to go, because I wanted to be a part of that. I knew it was going to be special.”
Lynn has been in coaching ever since joining the Denver Broncos as a special teams assistant in 2000, and most recently, he served as the head coach of the Chargers from 2017-20.
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So, he felt like he needed a break from the profession, at least until the opportunity with Campbell and the Lions came to be.
"I just think, given I’ve been on the sidelines since I was six years old, I have not had a break since I was six years old, literally every single fall,” Lynn said. “And, I really had in my mind that I was going to take a gap year, man. Travel a little bit, go see some other teams, visit some of the coaches I knew, see how they’re doing things. I had made my mind to sit out. But, then, when Dan called, that changed everything. But, out of respect, I did go talk with a couple other coaches. And, those are guys that have helped me in my career on the way up, so I owed them that. But, it just felt right in Detroit.”
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