The Detroit Lions have not won a playoff game since 1991 nor an NFL Championship since 1957 -- the franchise has yet to appear in a Super Bowl. Detroit has been the poster-child of losing franchises in the NFL, an organization that has just four winning seasons since 2001 and one playoff win since that championship in 1957.
Detroit returned to its losing ways over the last three seasons, going just 14-33-1 -- the fourth-worst record in the NFL. The Lions hired former player Dan Campbell to change the culture in Detroit, a culture Campbell is sick and tired of talking about.
"I know that Detroit is made up of great people, some really good people. The community is strong," Campbell said in a passionate speech in his opening press conference Thursday. "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. 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 s---. Excuse my language.
"Here's what I do know is that this team is going to take on the identity of this city. This city's been down and it found a way to get up. It's found a way to overcome adversity. So this team's going to be built on we're going to 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 gonna bite a kneecap off.
"And we're going to stand up and then it's gonna take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we're going to take your other kneecap 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 gonna take another hunk out of you. Before long, we're going to be the last one standing, alright? That's going to be the mentality."
Campbell got the most out of the Miami Dolphins in 2015 as an interim head coach, leading them to a 5-7 record in 12 games after a 1-4 start. Although he's never held the title of "coordinator," Campbell uses the coaching philosophy of Bill Parcells -- who he played for in Dallas -- using the quarterback to make smart decisions with a dominant defense and a team that works as hard as he coaches.
This is what Campbell was preaching when he agreed to a six-year deal to become the Lions head coach, to change the losing culture in a city that hasn't had a consistent winner since the 1950s. The task will be difficult, but Campbell is up to the challenge.
"I'm not going to stand up here and give you coach speak, but this team is gonna freaking take on your identity," Campbell said. "There's been enough hard times here and you've always found a way back up, and this team is going to do the same thing. Every time we get hit we're going to get back up stronger. That's what I do know."