I usually do not put much stock into when coaches speak about changing the culture or even when a single player talks about how the new HC is changing the culture. It’s usually coach speak, media spin, BS.
We’ve heard it many times before.
Case in point when MP arrived we heard all about how he was going to change the culture. Then when he signed a bunch of Ex Patriots we heard several of them say how they were all taking MP’s lead to change the culture and how the culture was changing … blah blah blah. Well MP changed the culture all right. He created locker room turmoil and disfunction.
When I hear this talk my BS meter immediately goes on red alert… I want to see the culture change not hear about it.
So when I hear talk about Dan Campbell changing the culture I roll my eyes and I think…. Yeah right I’ve heard that before. I just don’t believe that BS. Show me!
But I have to admit I’m starting to buy into that hype.
I still think Dan has a lot of learning to do as a HC. He even admitted that. He’s fessed up to making a lot of mistakes. He had plenty of head scratching decisions last year but…. from a culture change standpoint I believe the hype. Mind you the Lions locker room culture was at an all time low when he arrived. So it had no where to go but up…. That made me cautious when I heard how the locker room culture was changing. It just had to improve right?
But when Deshon Elliot made it clear that he came here for the culture. Listening to him speak you can tell he liked what he was hearing about Dan Campbell.
Then you have Anthony Lynn’s interview. A guy who had every reason to trash talk Dan but instead he had nothing but praise about him, his leadership and how he was changing the culture.
DJ Chark joined us on a one year prove it deal and makes it clear he had other options but it’s the culture in Detroit that drew him here.
Tracy Walker who lived through the MP era could have cut ties with the Lions or drove up the price but he chose to return to Detroit and not play the FA game because he wanted to be here.
Craig Reynolds, Jason Cabinda, former GM’s and former players are all talking about Dan Campbell and how he leads.
As a lion fan I’ve heard free agents talk about wanting to be here but that’s usually after we paid them big money. This feels different to me.
I can admit the last time players were praising a Lions HC and his leadership, it was Caldwell and Caldwell made a ton of poor game management decisions that cost us game. Dan has too. So there’s reason to be cautious here. I still feel we gave up on Caldwell too soon and a competent GM could have probably guided Caldwell.
Dan however feels different. He is a like able, genuine coach and I think players and fans relate to him. Which some fans take the hype to an unhealthy level because they like Dan.
Having a staff filled with former players I believe helps set the culture because players are more willing to buy in. So I like Dans business plan for success.
Dan is a character… and at times I would like to see more professionalism. But he’s like able and hard not to root for. I get the fan love, I am believing the culture change is real. Pour me a glass of that koolaid!
But …… I caution everyone. He’s still a young coach making a lot of mistakes. However I think he has the biggest hurdle figured out and that’s the locker room culture.
If he wants to maintain that momentum he’s going to need to build on the good will he earned in year one. Players are behind him but that may change if they lose a bunch of games. I’m looking forward to the season to see how the coaching staff and players respond.
So in 2022 I want to see Dan cut back on the coaching mistakes. I want to see us win more games than we loose and I want to see them build on the culture and leadership talk.
All of that is obtainable.