Even before Dan Campbell was hired to be the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, those who followed him throughout his career knew he was one of the most energetic coaches in the business.
But for those who were not familiar with Campbell quickly found out exactly what he is all about when he held his introductory press conference.
“This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised,” Campbell said that day. “And I can give you coachspeak all day long, ‘Hey, we’re gonna win this many games’ — none of that matters, and you don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve had enough of that (expletive), excuse my language. This team is going to take on the identity of this city. This city’s been down and it found a way to come up. It’s found a way to overcome adversity.
“We’re gonna kick you in the teeth. And when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you. And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up. And on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off.”
“Then it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down,” he continued. “And on the way up, we’re going to take your other kneecap. We’re going to get up, and then it’s going to take three shots to get us down. And when we get up, we’re going to take another hunk out of you. Before long, we’re going to be the last one standing.”
Following the presser, Campbell got quite a bit of national attention with some being positive but quite a bit of it being negative.
During a recent interview with MLive, Campbell said he could not care less that people were calling him a meathead.
“I said this to Chris (Spielman) the other day, I was like, ‘I love the fact we’re only known as meatheads,’” the new Detroit Lions coach told MLive in a recent interview. “I’m a meathead? I have limited brain capacity? I like (that people think) that. I’m good with that, you know what I mean? I have zero problem with it.”
“That whole press conference was literally for our team and our fans and community and people that want the Lions to succeed,” Campbell said. “I didn’t care about outside voices. … Spielman still makes fun of me to this day about my energy, because he said I was slamming the hot coffee. But listen, I told those guys — Sheila (Ford Hamp) and Rod (Wood) — that, listen, I want this job. I want to be in Detroit. I want this job, because I identify with this job. You talk about it fitting like a glove? This thing fits me like no other, because I just feel like I can relate to this. I understand, man. I think I’m kind of a gritty guy, you know? Without trying to toot my own horn, I just know who I am. I am very aware of who I am, and I think that, man, I was raised on a cattle ranch. I’m about hard work. I’m a blue-collar kid from a blue-collar family.”