Lions coach Dan Campbell to take season one step at a time

With the San Francisco 49ers on tap in the opener on Sunday coach Dan Campbell is clearly focused on the task at hand which is beating the 49ers. Doesn’t matter that the Lions are 8-point underdogs at home.

With the second-youngest NFL team, a new coach and GM at the helm, not much is expected of the Lions this season. Campbell knows that, he isn’t an idiot. 

When asked if he plays the “prove people wrong” card he said it’s part of the team’s DNA.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that nobody expects us to do much. So, yeah, that’s part of us, but that’s just lip service. What the hell does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything if we don’t go out and do our job. If I don’t do my job, it doesn’t matter that you think that we’re better than somebody else or we should be thought of as better than that,’’ Campbell said on Monday.

“Yeah, we know that and that drives you a little bit, but man, the focus has got to be on doing your freakin’ job, every one of us. Coaches, players, ‘You’ve got a job to do and let’s go do it, man.’ And you focus on that and give it your full attention and don’t worry about anything else. I think that’s got to be what we’re focused on.”

In his first season as a head coach, the way Campbell motivates his team could make some difference. Not say if he’s Super Motivator they will be playoff-bound, but each player needs to show he is worthy of his job. It might be easier to motivate now with a 0-0 record than down the road if there’s a win-loss ratio of let’s say 3-10.

“I think the focus has got to be – look, the motivation is one thing. It’s got to be about just taking a swing one more time. Like, ‘What is right in front of you? Just worry about what’s right in front of you right now,’’ Campbell said.

First players have to worry about having a good practice each day. 

“Everything has got to be about, ‘You have to do what’s right in front of you. What is the next rep that you have?’ If I’m on offense, we might have 60 plays. We can’t call 60 plays on one play. We can only call one at a time. So, ‘Just focus on that call and what your job is for that look and then take it to the next week,’’ Campbell said.

“Who’s the next opponent? That’s the next one. Don’t worry about what’s beyond that. Yeah, we’ve got Green Bay in two weeks after that. Don’t worry about Green Bay. We’ve got to worry about San Francisco.’ I think if we can just stay focused and centered on what the job is at hand right in front of us and giving it our sole focus and energy, I think that will go a long way for us,’’ the coach added.


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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