Upon Further Review, Maybe Dan Campbell Was The Right Choice For Detroit
If you're a Detroit Lions fan, you almost certainly did it. The topic here is Dan Campbell. If you don't follow football, he's the coach of the Detroit Lions. The Lions had degenerated into the NFL's laughing stock even before he was hired. And then with pretty much every Lions fan pulling for him, the team came out of the blocks at 0-8, so there was an ever-growing "uh-oh, here we go again" vibe building. Then, finally managing a tie with Pittsburgh, the Leos followed that with two more losses.
But they finally beat Minnesota, and then, after getting walloped by Denver, an upset win against first-place Arizona.
Campbell has taken his fair share of heat, and he's made his fair share of mistakes. Nobody's doing cartwheels over a 2-11 season so far. But you can learn from your mistakes and this team does seem to play hard for him.
No, I haven't lost my mind. 2-11-1 is horrible. But, as I said, the team is playing hard. (in fact, so hard they've now played themselves out of the top overall draft pick, which figures to be hometown hero, Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson. In fact, wags can add to that: the Lions can't even get losing right, play themselves out of that overall number one pick.)
The experts all say the Lions' offensive line is a strength. And the team has a bunch of high draft picks in the next few years. The new Lions' general manager, Brad Holmes, had some promising picks in his first draft. Now the question is, can he keep that going. Great drafts are not in the first round, it's finding gems in the third and fourth round, and occasionally hitting one or two in the fifth and sixth.
Here's an idea that might send shivers down long-time Lions fans: one of those first-round picks maybe should be a wide receiver. Say what you want about Jared Goff, but he did take the Rams to the Super Bowl. He can't be that big a bust. Give him some targets and some time to throw and see what happens. (You figure he's got at least one more year to show what he can do, and this is a down year for picking quarterbacks.).
But you're saying Stafford had Calvin Johnson and those teams couldn't win big. Then build a powerful defense. Then we'll talk. Remember, offense gets headlines, but defense wins championships.
Just a gut feeling here, but Campbell seems to be a coach players want to play for, and while that guarantees absolutely nothing, it is a start.