The Detroit Lions could not have picked a better coach to embody the “Motor City” better than Dan Campbell.
From the very beginning, when Campbell was telling reporters in his opening press conference that his players would be biting the kneecaps of opposing teams, he’s meant nothing but business. There were a lot of people that wrote off his “coach talk,” but as he approaches his third full year with the Lions, Campbell certainly looks like the man for the job.
Detroit is set to play for a shot at an NFC Conference title if they can get through their next test against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Considering that the Lions just won their first postseason game in 32 years last weekend, getting to a conference championship game (and then even a Super Bowl) would spark a celebration unlike anything the sports world has ever seen.
Dan Campbell, sometimes also referred to as MCDC (Motor City Dan Campbell), couldn’t be more proud of his team. They’ve certainly adapted to his rough and tough playing style, and fans of the Lions are ecstatic that their football team is finally competitive again.
Though Campbell is happy that people are proudly rooting for the Lions again, he wanted to set the record straight about any bandwagon fans, and told the MMQB:
“I’m just so proud of the coaching staff and these players for rewarding Detroit with a home playoff win. Our fans took it to another level today, and it helped us win! To those fans who have kept the faith, you deserve this! To the doubters, stay off our train—it’s too late for you!”
“Stay off our train” is such a Dan Campbell thing to say.
That first playoff win in 32 years was special for Lions fans, especially since they faced off against their former franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. I’m sure it was tough for some Lions fans to see Stafford knocked out of the playoffs, but then again, they were most likely just as happy that their current franchise QB (who was traded to the Lions from the Rams for Stafford) was leading the team to a deep playoff run.
Jared Goff is another name that fits in perfectly with the Lions, and it can be argued that Campbell and his staff have maximized Goff’s potential after he was viewed as “washed up” in his final years out in Los Angeles. Campbell had high praise for his QB, telling the MMQB’s Albert Breer:
“I have unwavering faith in Goff in the most critical moments. Today, he did what he’s done for two years by sealing it for us.”
Dan Campbell texted The MMQB's Albert Breer after defeating the Rams his "unwavering faith" in Jared Goff pic.twitter.com/qHRfowiU98
It’s cool to see the Lions finally “not be the Detroit Lions” for a change, and by that I mean not being a complete dumpster fire of an NFL franchise. However, as Dan Campbell said, if you were planning on jumping onto the Lions bandwagon now, you can forget about it.
Those spots are reserved for pained, tortured Detroit fans who have stuck with the team through the thick and thin (and have likely bitten their fair share of kneecaps in recent years).