The Detroit Lions have had a more difficult NFL life than just about any other franchise in the past few decades, which probably explains why they are currently being featured on the HBO reality show ‘Hard Knocks.’
The team finished 0-16 back in 2008, and haven’t won a playoff game since their 1991 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
This year, there are renewed hopes for Dan Campbell’s bunch, however, after the drafting of Heisman runner-up and former Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, along with former Alabama speedster Jameson Williams at the wide receiver position.
Dan Campbell’s Vision: The Mother of All Super Bowl Parties in Detroit
Campbell told WJBK-Detroit about his vision for the team prior to accepting the head coaching job.
Coach Campbell said he operates from a ‘top down’ perspective as a head coach, similar to former New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, whom he played under in New Orleans.
“I can tell you, before I took this job, I envisioned us being downtown Detroit with the trophy and this city going crazy,” Campbell said.
“I just try to be me. I’ve got a lot of energy. I’m excited. I’m enthusiastic. I think that helps those guys. They kind of believe in me, I guess.”
Campbell sounds optimistic as the Lions prepare for the upcoming season at their Allen Park, MI training camp facilities.
He said he views last season as the start of a string of seasons building up to a championship caliber team in Detroit..
“We can be the group that changes that, and doesn’t that drive you and motivate you?” Campbell said.
“Man, to say we’re gonna be the first unit that comes out of this, we’re gonna stack a season, two seasons, three seasons. We’re the ones that did it, we did it in 2022, and we started in 2021.”
Campbell Says That ‘Grit’ Will Help to Build the Team’s Identity and Foundation
According to Campbell, the team will rely on its grit to reach the new heights he laid out for them before he began coaching.
“I told the team last night our identity and who we are, and our foundation is all about grit,” he said according to SI.com.
“That’s physical, mental toughness and that means taking it one day at a time. That means going a little longer and pushing a little harder, thinking a little deeper, a little sharper, those terms.
“So, I think when we think that way and we just worry about what’s in front of us, everything else will — it will play itself out. So, I’m not worried about that.”
According to running back Jamaal Williams, the goal is to win it all this season, and not some far-off date in the distant future.