MOBILE – Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell met with media members Wednesday morning here in Alabama for the Senior Bowl, and he covered a number of topics.
Here are some of the key questions from that media session:
What is Campbell's focus this week after handing over head coaching duties to Duce Staley?
Not having to focus solely on coaching has allowed Campbell to dip his toes into a lot of the work the team is currently doing in regards to the offseason schedule. He has met with general manager Brad Holmes and his staff about upcoming free agents, and has also sat in on draft meetings about prospects not here in Mobile.
"Yesterday we spent most of the time, Brad and I, on the field and he has more intimate knowledge on some of these guys than I do," Campbell said. "So just to be able to watch somebody catch your eye and then he kind of gives you the intel, so it's very beneficial for me."
The Cincinnati Bengals were coaching in the Senior Bowl two years ago, and now they're headed to the Super Bowl. How much motivation can Campbell and the Lions draw from that?
"You definitely look at that," Campbell said. "It's living proof that it can be done."
Campbell also pointed to his personal experience. When he got to New Orleans in 2016 they had been 7-9 for a few years in a row, and then they hit on some draft picks – WR Mike Thomas, RB Alvin Kamara, C Erik McCoy, DL Marcus Davenport, CB Marshon Lattimore – and in just a couple years flipped the script and became one of the top teams in the league.
When teams do it right in the draft and supplement some holes with free agents, Campbell said it's possible to catch lightning in a bottle.
What is Campbell's plan to turn the Lions around as quickly as Zac Taylor has with the Bengals?
First, Campbell said it's key to identify where you really need help on the roster.
"We're doing it. We've began to do that," he said. "We'll go through this process over the next month. You start to figure out. 'What do we really need help at?'"
He said the next step is figuring out the best way to address it, whether that's via free agency or the draft. And then he said it's also important for not only the players to improve year over year, but he and his staff improve as well. That's where Campbell seems to be really excited because he thinks he has a coaching staff that wants to be better in 2022.
View photos of the Lions arrival at the 2022 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
With the possibility of losing defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn to a head coaching job in this cycle, how much confidence does Campbell have in defensive backs/pass game coordinator Aubrey Pleasant to potentially fill that role?
Campbell thinks a lot of Pleasant and believes he has a bright future ahead of him. Pleasant had a big hand in developing some of Detroit's young players in the secondary this season.
Campbell also mentioned defensive line coach Todd Wash, who was the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville from 2016-20.
"You have to have a contingency plan," Campbell said. "To know that you have somebody and feel like you've got one or two in the building that can step up and fill that role, it does make you feel better."