Of all the head coaching hires to start the 2021 NFL offseason, not one introduced themselves quite like Dan Campbell. The former NFL veteran, now tabbed to lead the Detroit Lions, stole the spotlight in his first remarks as the club's head man, literally promising that his players would "bite a kneecap" off their opponents. Since then, Campbell has occasionally been laughed off as a leader from another time. But it doesn't seem to bother him, as the coach told MLive this week he's OK being a "meathead."
"I said this to (CEO) Chris (Spielman) the other day, I was like, 'I love the fact we're only known as meatheads,'" Campbell said, per Kyle Meinke. "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."
Campbell, who spent three seasons playing for the Lions from 2006-2008, is well aware that his opening press conference -- complete with kneecap references and repeated vows to restore physicality in Detroit -- shaped the public perception on him as a first-time head coach. But, again, he doesn't regret it.
"That whole press conference was literally for our team and our fans and community and people that want the Lions to succeed," Campbell told MLive. "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 -- (owner) Sheila (Ford Hamp) and (president) 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 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."