Dan Campbell: I didn’t set out to hire so many ex-players

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Without any context (yet) I’m going to take it as a good sign that so many of his peers would want to come and work for the guy. It sure seems like a total attitude reset for this organization with all the new coaches and front office personnel, tons of experience to draw from to right the ship …

…but I’ve been fooled before.

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This does not give me the warm and fuzzies.

I’m not saying the sky is falling, but if you’re setting out to hire some folks for a few different positions and they end up all having the same sort of background, a good CEO (which is basically what a coach is) might notice and think “hunh, do I have an unconscious selection bias going on here? Is this a blind spot that could be negatively effecting how this group is going to think and perform? Will I have enough different angles to approach problems or just the blind leading the blind?”

For an imperfect (though droll) analogy, if you’re on a dating app and keep swiping right on chicks who look and sound an awful lot like your ex wife…you might want to rethink your process as the familiar pick is not always the best fit.

Maybe DC recognized that and factored it into the final selection process and double screened to make sure that it would gel. I hope so!

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Will it translate to wins, no idea, but hiring so many ex players is not a thing that bothers or worries me.

It’s one thing if they are all first time coaches, they aren’t, and have had differing levels of success in their past stops. They also were highly thought of and pursued by other teams and chose Detroit which says something about Campbell as well.

I really disagree with this assessment. They might be similar in the fact that they are ex-players, however they all have diverse back grounds,. Different teams, different systems, different mentors, etc.



If Dan Campell and the Lions find relatively good success over the next few years,

…this will become an NFL trend.

Copy-cat league, and maybe, …just maybe, the Lions could be the tip-of-the-spear as a trend setter, rather than be the hand-me-down dull point?

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Yeah, that would be something.

“I honestly didn’t come in this thing and like write down on a notepad, I’m going to hire nothing but ex-players. It really wasn’t on my mind,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press . “I honestly said, I need to find the best people that are the best coaches. Like, how do I find outstanding character, but yet they’re outstanding coaches? And these are the names that I started to come up with.”

He’s not saying, “whoops, I didn’t mean to do that”. He’s just saying it wasn’t his intent to do that, but it shook out that way.

I don’t like it.

When I see dudes I remember as college players with gray in their beards, it really highlights what an old f’n man I am. For that reason alone, I’m not a fan of hiring ex-players.

Now get off my lawn!


Bucky Brooks


I love how the@Lionsare populating their staff with former #NFL players. I’m rooting for the team’s success in hopes of other teams and head coaches tapping into the alumni pipeline. There’s certainly value to having players teach players how to play the pro game.


I suppose it’s too early to talk about the Dan Campbell tree… :grinning:


Me either.

He didn’t set out to hire a bunch of former players but when he built his list of people he liked and he thought were good coaches he ended up valuing coaches with prior playing experience.

As a former player himself this showed a personal bias on his part.

Head Coaches tend to hire people they know, have worked with in the past and trust. His trust factor fell on coaches with playing experience.

This doesn’t mean he didn’t make good hires. I hope it all works out for him but it’s obvious that his search for coaches had a biased direction to it.

Let’s just hope he didn’t overlook better coaching candidates for a former player.

To be fair, it’s 8 coaches out of 24 on his staff. So only one-third. It’s not like almost every single one is an ex-player.