The staff that can lead the Lions to glory

Nicholas Lundberg '21, Editor

Lions new HC Dan Campbell during his introductory press conference (Courtesy: Detroit News)

After a very disappointing 5-11 season highlighted by the firing of former general manager Bob Quinn and former head coach Matt Patricia, the Lions have focused the beginning of their offseason on putting together a competent coaching staff. The major hires were Brad Holmes as GM and Dan Campbell as HC. There has been plenty of praise and questions about these hirings.

Holmes, who was formerly the Rams director of scouting, comes in known for his drafting ability. The Lions have always had a problem drafting talent, especially in the later rounds, and Holmes seems to be the guy who can fix that problem. He has played a huge role in drafting the best defensive player in football, Aaron Donald, along with other solid players like Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp. Even though he has a great drafting track record, there are many questions surrounding his ability to maneuver free agency. He has no GM experience, but he does have Mike Disner, an executive who will manage the team’s cap space, along with contract and trade negotiations. He will be a big help to Holmes as he learns the ins-and-outs of the job.

The other major hire of the offseason was HC Dan Campbell. Campbell previously served as the TE/WR coach of the Saints before taking the job here in Detroit. Campbell absolutely nailed his introductory press conference, highlighted by the legendary quote, “And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up. And on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off.” The Detroit media and fans loved his motto while the national media scolded it, but that’s what Detroiters are accustomed to. Campbell is known as a players coach and he can be defined as a “breath of fresh air.” A major question surrounding Campbell, much like Holmes, is his experience. His only experience as a HC was in Miami as an interim in 2015. He went 5-7 during that stretch. To help with his lack of experience, he has added former Chargers HC Anthony Lynn as his offensive coordinator along with a litany of great football minds as executives to help him get adjusted. 

In most recent news, the Lions and QB Matthew Stafford have agreed to part ways this offseason, completing the overhaul of personnel. The Lions will try to get as much as they can in the hot market, being that a lot of teams need an established QB. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered in the coming months with the draft and free agency around the corner, but now the Lions seem to have put together a staff competent enough to ace those questions.