Dan Campbell won his introductory press conference by referencing The Big Lebowski as he introduced himself to his new city and team. He even has a reference to the classic comedy on his nameplate hanging outside his office.
The Detroit Lions made it official on Thursday, naming Dan Campbell as their next head coach. The Lions hired Campbell shortly after the 2020 season in which they moved on from Matt Patricia.
Whether he can actually produce success on the field as head coach of the Lions remains to be seen. But on day one at least, Campbell was a star. During his intro presser, he was passionate, honest, emotional. It seemed like Campbell was able to connect with an energy that too few Lions coaches have in the past.
Meanwhile, Detroit has already installed a sign outside of Campbell’s office labeling him as “The Dude.” Of course, for those that have seen The Big Lebowski, “The Dude” refers to legendary actor, Jeff Bridges and the titular character of the film. He plays the character, Jeff Lebowski, in the classic movie.
For those that haven’t seen the movie, it is definitely a great one to check out. However, if we are comparing the two, Campbell seems to be a version of Bridges’ character that spends every day at the gym.
ESPN’s Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter posted a photo of Campbell’s new nameplate to social media on Thursday from inside the Lions’ front office.
“The new nameplate that hangs outside the new office for new Lions’ HC Dan Campbell – The Dude. @lions.” Schefter wrote on Twitter.
Dan Campbell ‘Wanted Lions Job Bad’
Dan Campbell had previously played in the NFL from 1999-2009, prior to pursuing a coaching career. He went on to join the Miami Dolphins as a coaching intern in 2010. He worked his way through the ranks and rose to be the interim head coach with Miami in 2015.
Campbell would join the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints, after his stint with the Dolphins. He’s been the assistant to the head coach and tight ends coach for the Saints since 2016. We’ll all have to wait and see if Campbell can help turn the Lions into a winning team. But there’s no doubt that The Big Lebowski references won’t disappear anytime soon.
Campbell, who was a tight end with the Lions from 2006-08, said he wanted the Lions job “bad.” During his introductory presser, he spent a moment sharing how he can relate to the city and what the organization has been through.
“This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised and I can sit up here and give you coach speak all day long,” Campbell said. “I can give you, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this many games.’ None of that matters and you guys don’t want to hear it anyway, You’ve had enough of that sh*t, excuse my language.”
‘We’re Going to Bite a Knee Cap Off’
In what seems like proper fashion, Campbell used colorful language to describe what the Detroit Lions’ identity will be. He says that his team will ”bite a kneecap off.”
“Here’s what I do know, is that this team is going to take on the identity of this city. And this city’s been down and it found a way to get up. It’s found a way to overcome adversity,” Campbell explains. “So this team’s going to be built on, we’re going to kick you in the teeth, all right, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you and when you knock us down, we’re going to get up, and on the way up, we’re going to bite a knee cap off.
“And we’re going to stand up and then it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down. On the way up, we’re going to take your other knee cap and we’re going to get up, and then it’s going to take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we’re going to (get up and) take another hunk out of you. Before long, we’re going to be the last one standing. That’s going to be the mentality.”