NFC Notes: Dan Campbell, Josh McCown, Quay Walker, Lions, Packers, Vikings


The Lions nearly reached the Super Bowl last year after being the underdog for the last few decades. Detroit HC Dan Campbell discussed their motivations and how they are handling the massive changes in expectations. 

“I don’t feel that we’re in this underdog,” Campbell said, via CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. “I think our guys know where we’re at. I would say this: the motivator is we still have things that we circle, too. We have our own shitlist. So we’re the team with the target on our back, but we’ve circled some people too now. We have targets, too.”

“It’s not like we just ran through everybody last year and blew everybody out. We had losses and tough games. We have division opponents. We lost in the NFC Championship Game. So we’ve got our own targets man. And that’s the motivator.”


Packers LB Quay Walker said he’s enjoying new DC Jeff Hafley‘s system and points out he did a lot of what Hafley is asking during his college career. 

“It’s a lot of stuff that I did in college, and I think it translates very well for a lot of us,” said Walker, via PackersWire. “It fits what we do, and not only that, I think Hafley has done a great job of putting us in the right position. I love it so far.”

Walker said they are already showing good chemistry in practice and mentioned how his National Championship winning team at Georgia had a similar feeling. 

“I’d be lying to you if I said we wasn’t because, honestly, I’ve been on a championship team and I understand that it’s college and this is the NFL, but the chemistry is there already. Anytime you have a team where the chemistry is there, that’s a good, good sign.”


Vikings QB coach Josh McCown said Minnesota fans still remind him of the touchdown pass he threw for the Cardinals in 2003 to knock the Vikings out of playoff contention. 

“It’s funny,” McCown said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “Somebody will grab me in the airport, and they’ll say, ‘Welcome to Minnesota.’ And then they say, ‘Hey wait a minute,’ and the longer we talk, the more they think it, and it’s not so pleasant. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it happened. But for the course of my career, there’s only like five good plays, and that’s one of them. So let me have it.’ But it’s been cool. It was a crazy moment back then.”

Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell praised McCown’s communication as a coach and is proving to be a great teacher. 

“The best thing Josh does is he communicates in a way that is so full of information and knowledge, having been a guy that played as long as he did,” O’Connell said. “He really worked through a lot of aspects of the position as a player. But he’s got an unbelievable aspect of teaching, how he communicates things, how he can demonstrate things, how he can allow a player to kind of get it and understand that that next rep is either going to solidify that or it’s going to provide another opportunity to coach. Josh has absolutely been awesome from Day 1.”

McCown has drawn examples from his own career during practice with first-round QB J.J. McCarthy, recalling a costly interception he threw when explaining the risk involved in certain throws. 

“Sometimes as a coach you’re installing plays or talking about plays and there’s like real scars there,” McCown said. “That was one for me. … I said, ‘Listen, I’m not just saying this. I tried to make this throw. It did not go well, and I watched Aqib Talib run it to the end zone. So I just encourage you, as you’re evaluating whether or not to make that throw, [to understand] how clean that needs to look for you and what that pre-snap look needs to be for you to take that chance.’ Little things like that come up throughout the course of it. And hopefully it keeps us from speed bumps. They learn from those mistakes and we can avoid some.”

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