‘The Dude’ Won The Press Conference; Will Lions Win More Games?
The comparisons started right from the start of Thursday's introductory press conference. New Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is the real life version of "The Dude", the Jeff Bridges character in "The Big Lebowski". Even the Lions' PR Department got into the spirit of it.
It's one thing to win a press conference. It another to win games on Sundays in the NFL. But Campbell, a former tight end for the team, who endured the 0-16 season, said all the right things on this first day of his tenure. And he said it with so much passion, you have to believe, at least the fans are ready to run through a wall for him. It remains to be seen if the players will, but reports from Miami (where he was an interim coach five years ago) and New Orleans, where he was the assistant head coach to Sean Payton, say he is very popular with his players.
But this was the start of today's meet and greet:
"This team is going to be built on, we're going to kick you in the teeth. And when you punch us back, we're going to smile at you. And when you knock us down we're going to get up, and on the way up we're going to bite a kneecap off. We're going to stand up and then it's going to take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we're going to take your other kneecap. And we're going to get up and it's going to take three shots to get us down. And when we get up, we're going to take another hunk out of you. Before long, we're going to be the last one standing." - Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions head coach.
If it's true that players want to play for Campbell and coaches want to coach for him, this could be a big advantage for the team. New General Manager Brad Holmes and Cambell, today, are honest when they say, while there's a lot of holes on the Lions' roster, the defense is obviously what needs to most help to begin with, and while they want to build through the draft, a few free agents to help the defense immediately could return the team to respectability sooner rather than later.