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Lions’ Dan Campbell sends message to opponents: ‘The dumber you think I am, the better off we are’

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Dan Campbell received his first full-time head coaching job with the Detroit Lions prior to the 2021 season and has since become one of the most quotable figures in the league.

Campbell’s electricity was highlighted in a recent interview with The Athletic that detailed his rise in the NFL world and how he’s become someone to watch on the latest series of “Hard Knocks.”

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Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks with quarterback Jared Goff during a joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts in Westfield, Indiana, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In his first season as a head coach, Campbell admitted to some struggles with trying to control and shape how the offense looked during the low points of the season. He admitted to The Athletic that he didn’t necessarily trust the offense and noted just how out of sync things were between Jared Goff and former offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

Regardless, Campbell said there was one thing he doesn’t care to control and that’s what his opponents think about him.

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Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell addresses the media at the team's practice facility, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Allen Park, Michigan.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell addresses the media at the team's practice facility, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Allen Park, Michigan.
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

“It doesn’t bother me,” Campbell told The Athletic. “If you’re an opponent, the dumber you think I am, the better off we are.”

Lions players and coaches appear to be happy with Campbell as their leader, even despite a 3-13-1 season and their team missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

“He gets it,” offensive lineman Frank Ragnow told The Athletic. “He’s been through it. He understands he can’t be the feel-good players’ coach who makes everybody happy. He knows when to lay down the law, and he’s got this uncanny ability to get us to trust him.”

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches from the sideline during the preseason game against the Colts in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches from the sideline during the preseason game against the Colts in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.
(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

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Detroit will embark on their latest quest for a playoff berth on Sept. 11 when they play the Philadelphia Eagles to start the season. The team has not won a playoff game since the 1991 season.

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