Highlights from Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes radio interviews; coach makes 'The Tonight Show'
Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell both made appearances on 97.1 The Ticket's "The Morning Show with Stoney & Jansen" on Friday.
Here were the highlights from each interview.
On how he believes is the best way to build a team outside the quarterback:
Holmes: "It can actually go in a myriad of ways, but I do believe, as you know Jon (Jansen), as an offensive lineman, and obviously going up against very talented, big, strong defensive linemen, I do think it's very critical to make sure that you are solid up front, on both sides of the line. I know it's the old cliché, build it inside out, but there have been other approaches where you can get some pieces inside then get some very, very talented skill on the outside, as well. But I definitely think it's very, very critical that both lines are solidified. I know the buzz word of retooling, that's definitely going to be done on the defensive side of the ball, but I do like the promise of our offensive line."
On the role he had in Campbell's hiring:
Holmes: "Yeah, so the really unique thing about this process was everything was virtual. I actually thought that Rod Wood and Sheila (Ford Hamp) did a great job, in terms of being very, very creative in streamlining the communication between the coaching candidates that were deemed as finalists and myself. I really credited Rod for the outside the box thinking, in terms of making sure that communication was streamlined before I got the job and obviously afterwards. I did have a lot of talks with Dan and it was all positive. We were aligned on a lot of the same areas, so it worked out great. I couldn't be more excited."
With no head decision maker, who breaks ties when he and Campbell disagree on a player?
Holmes: "Well, I say this gingerly because we, Dan and I, just have to figure that one out. I say gingerly because I think Dan mentioned we just have to lock the doors and just battle it out. But Dan is not a guy that I want to battle it out with. No, seriously, it goes back to what I was saying about the communication earlier; we were so aligned on a lot of the same areas, in terms of philosophy, personnel, how we see player development, vision. Like I told him, it's his vision, it's his philosophy, I just want to aid him with the best possible resources. Because we're so aligned, I don't really see that being an issue where we cannot come to an agreement on a player."
On his press conference making him a national star:
Campbell: "I don't know about being a star, but I'm sure enough people saw it. That's for sure."
On whether he's concerned about the lack of experience at coach, GM and potentially the coordinators:
Campbell: "You know what? It doesn't. But here's what I'd say to that too, I think we understand enough, Brad, myself, all of us really, that we're going to need some help along the way. And as we move through these hires, we've already talked about it, we're going to hire some people that can complement us and help us here in areas that maybe we're not quite ready for and we do need some help. I'm man enough to own up to the fact that I'm going to need a little bit of help. I did do a 12-game stint during the season (as a head coach), but I haven't started it from scratch like I'm doing right now. So there will be some things that I have some questions about, things that I'm going to need to know. I'm going to need someone in my ear. We've thought about that, no different than Brad has. I'm sure as you see this go along, as we start hiring, we'll probably hire some experienced coaches or staff members to kind of help us here."
On what he saw from the Lions defense last season, preparing for them as a member of the Saints coaching staff:
Campbell: "Let me say this, there were pieces on that defense where it was like, all right, man, if we don't take care of these guys, we're going to have some issues. There was a couple guys you identified, more than a couple, where you were like, all right, how are we going to handle this guy? Look, (Jarrad) Davis, man, one of the first things I circled was if we're running inside zone, or we're running 42 Ace, our lead draw, and you're leading on No. 40, man, you better be ready for him to drop his freakin' hat and hit you right under the chin. Like, he'll literally split your chin open and knock your hat off.
"Look, there are these little things that you circle in there, just on guys that they had. I think they were still working through the scheme. I know they were more of the Okie style, the 3-4, and they're not long, big guys. They don't have natural length. So sometimes that hurts a little bit, not that you can't do it. I feel like they were still trying to mesh through that scheme that they had with the personnel that they had. Let me say this, it almost looked like they were trying to figure out what world are we in right now. Are we trying to play this four-down, up-the-field (defense) or am I trying to two-gap? Am I trying to set an edge? Am I squeezing it? Where is the safety fitting? I just felt like it was a little disheveled, that's all. I'm not trying to blame the coaching staff, but that's also not on the players all the time, either now. Certainly, when you don't know what you're doing all the time, or you're not 100 percent sure, you're not going to play to the talent level that you have.
"I would tell you this, that's the last thing that we're going to do here. Our players are going to know what to do so we get 100 percent of their talent. We will pull it out of them because they know exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it and they're going to pull the trigger and go."
Speaking of Campbell's press conference, multiple sound bites from the colorful, energetic coach quickly made their way around the web, but none more than Campbell's description of what he expects the team's identity will be.
"Here's what I do know," Campbell continued. "This team is going to take on the identity of this city. And this city has been down, but it found a way to get up. It's found a way to overcome adversity. So this team is 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 kneecap off, all right? We're going to stand up, and then it's going to 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 it's going to take three shots to get us down. And when we do (get up), we're going to take another hunk out of you. Before long, we're going to be the last one standing. That's going to be the mentality."
It was enough that it caught the attention of the "The Tonight Show" and made Jimmy Fallon's monologue. After showing the clip, the host poked fun at Campbell's intensity.
"In hindsight, maybe eating bath salts before his press conference was ill-advised," Fallon said. "Can you imagine sitting next to that guy on a plane? It's like, 'So what brings you to Detroit?' (Impersonating Campbell's gravelly voice) 'I'm here to rip someone's face off, then put it back on their head as they watch me go down, then on the way up, bite another chunk of their kneecap.'"