Detroit Lions coaching rumors: Getting to know front-runner Dan Campbell

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Detroit Lions
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New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell has emerged as the front-runner to land the Detroit Lions vacant head coaching position.  Campbell is a Clifton, Texas native that spent ten years in the NFL as a player, including his last three as a member of the Lions.

Campbell is a former third-round pick, drafted 79th overall by the New York Giants back in 1999. The Detroit Lions head coaching candidate hopes to create fonder memories if he becomes Detroit’s next head coach.  Campbell had been a member of Detroit’s 2008 team that went 0-16; despite just making one catch, he was still on the team nonetheless.

The coaching candidate had primarily been a backup, blocking tight end during his NFL career, never living up to his third-round draft selection.  Campbell totaled 91 catches, 934 yards, and 11 touchdowns during 114 career NFL games between the Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions.

The Detroit Lions recently hired a general manager to replace Bob Quinn as the teams’ general manager, long-time employee, and draft specialist with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Brad Holmes.  Holmes recently agreed to a five-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Here is one little concerning tidbit, Campbell has never been a coordinator but does have some NFL head coaching experience filling in as an interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins, going 5-7 in 2015.

A head coach doesn’t necessarily need to have success as a play-caller to be a head coach, but I will say it’s a bit unusual for a current coach that isn’t a coordinator to land a head coaching gig.  Even John Harbaugh, who has seen an abundance of success as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, landed the job after being a special teams coordinator, yes, a coordinator but not of offense or defense.  Not a play-caller.

Being able to manage the game, motivate players, get everyone to buy-in to what you are trying to accomplish as a head coach, and have an exceptional coaching staff from top to bottom, is more crucial as a head coach.