Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell had a tremendous weight lifted off his shoulders this past Sunday, as he earned his first win as head coach of the team that had previously gone winless in nearly one full calendar year thanks to a dramatic walk-off win against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.
The excitement was palpable, as Campbell leapt for joy and embraced quarterback Jared Goff after Amon-Ra St. Brown's game-winning touchdown reception; of course, we also won't soon forget his bearhug of team owner Sheila Ford-Hamp.
However, it's back to work this week as the Lions prepare to face the Denver Broncos (6-6) on Sunday in the Mile High City.
“There’s always a concern there. You want to make sure they’re mentally and emotionally ready to go back to work,” he said today.
“Just because you won one doesn’t mean you’re going to win another one. You have to put in the same amount of work and focus and attention to detail that you did with the last one.
That's what this season has been about, building towards the future,” he continued. “We're in the moment, but the future is next week. Whatever we're building not only extends to the end of this year, but next year. Ultimately, we're trying to build a winner, but there's a certain way you have to play to win games. It starts with guys who come to work who believe and hope and continue to improve. We have that now, so we can't let them lose it.”
Campbell knows that the Broncos can't afford to take the Lions lightly as they continue their quest for a playoff berth.
Denver is a damn good opponent, and they're in the playoff hunt,” Campbell said. “For them, it's a playoff game. They can't lose anymore, that's how they're looking at it.”
The Lions will be facing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, whom Campbell is familiar with from their time with the New Orleans Saints when Campbell served as tight ends coach.
“I think he’s a stud. I think he’s a winner,” Campbell said of Bridgewater.
– – Quotes via Matt Boyer Link – –