NFC Notes: Dan Campbell, Bears, Lions


Dan Campbell

Before his introductory press conference, new Lions HC Dan Campbell spoke to the team website about a variety of topics. Campbell played tight end in the NFL for 10 years, including in Detroit for his final three, and will lean on his experience as a former player in his role as head coach. 

“One of the first things I told the guys in Miami when I took over (as interim HC) is, ‘Hey, here’s the good news, I’m an ex-player. Here’s the bad news, I’m an ex-player. I’ve been through it. I know what you can do and you can do a lot more than you think you can do,” Campbell said via Tim Twentyman of the team website. “I would never ask a coach or player to do something I’ve never done or wouldn’t be willing to do at a drop of a hat right now. If I’m asking you to do it, I’ve done it, and just trust me in that regard, but building relationships is where it all starts.”

The last coaching staff clashed frequently with the players, so the relationship between coaches and players is in the spotlight for Campbell. It sounds like he’s going to take a less adversarial approach. 

“I’m not running around with a baton or a bat, because you’re getting nothing out of that. There’s no loyalty to that. You’ll put some people in line, but at the end of the day, there’s no loyalty to that,” he said via Twentyman.

The Lions are seen by most outside observers as a pretty big rebuilding job. But Holmes in recent days has expressed optimism about the roster and Campbell echoed that sentiment. 

“Certainly there are pieces here I like. There’s a number of pieces here I was excited about,” Campbell said via Twentyman. “Is there going to need to be a little retooling as Brad would say? Yeah, there is. Those are the facts of the matter But I’m not so sure this is what some may think it is or as far away as some may think it is.”

  • Once Campbell’s presser started, he really got into it: “This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised. I can give you coachspeak all day long, none of that matters. You’ve had enough of that shit, excuse my language.” (Kyle Meinke)


  • Over The Cap’s Nick Korte released updated compensatory pick projections. Typically Korte’s projections are the most accurate available, but he acknowledges this year will be potentially less accurate because of changes to the league’s confidential formula stemming from the new CBA and the pandemic. 
  • Nevertheless, Korte projects the Bears to receive two sixth-round picks for the loss of DL Nick Williams and QB Chase Daniel.
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler talked to NFL executives to paint a full picture of the situation the Texans find themselves in with QB Deshaun Watson. The consensus is that Watson is worth at least three first-round picks and probably another high pick for good measure. Washington is mentioned by league executives as a team that could pursue a deal for Watson.
  • According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Bears will roll over approximately $7,042,955 in cap space to 2021, with the final amount pending an audit by the NFL. 
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that Bears DL coach Jay Rodgers is expected to join new Chargers HC Brandon Staley‘s staff in Los Angeles. 
  • The Falcons will also hire Bears RB coach Charles London as their new QB coach. (Pelissero)


  • Campbell said he already has a terrific relationship with GM Brad Holmes: “We bounce everything off each other and he has been better than advertised. You talk about a fit. He and I see things very much alike. He’s no different than me. He has zero ego. He’s all about Dan, ‘What can I do to help you?’” (Twentyman)
  • Campbell acknowledged the future of Lions QB Matthew Stafford is one of the major topics he and Holmes will be figuring out: “That’s something we need to talk about. I’ve had conversations with Brad. But Matthew is a stud, he’s tough, he’s a team guy and he wants to win.” (Justin Rogers)
  • He added the Lions are closer to where they want to be on offense than defense. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Lions team president Rod Wood said Campbell showed up on multiple lists when they asked GM candidates who they thought should be head coach. (Meinke)
  • Wood declined to explain why they gave Campbell a six-year deal instead of a five-year offer. (Rogers)
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