Lions head coach Dan Campbell has received praise both locally and nationally for the coaching staff he's assembled in Detroit over the last month since taking the job.
Campbell put together a good mix of veteran coaches, coaches with playing experience and some young up-and-comers in the coaching ranks. It's really a nice mix of talent and experience.
A number of the coaches, like Campbell, have playing experience. Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is a former Super Bowl winning running back, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was an elite cornerback in his era, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley was a phenomenal running back in the league for a decade. Players can oftentimes relate better to coaches that have been in their shoes.
It's a great staff by all accounts, but why did they all decide to join Campbell in Detroit? Lynn, Glenn, Staley and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp spoke to the Detroit media Wednesday.
They have different reasons for coming to Detroit, but those reasons all point back to Dan Campbell.
"He's a hard worker. He's highly competitive. He's a high-character man. It's the reason why I'm here, because of Dan Campbell. I have all the respect in the world for him. Watching him as a player and grow and develop into a coach and head coach, couldn't be more excited to be here and serve him as his offensive coordinator."
"First thing is we're both (Texas A&M) Aggies, so we have that relationship. The next thing is we played together in Dallas for a year. Then we had a chance to coach together for five years in New Orleans. So, me and Dan have many conversations just about football, and just being with him all these years you get a chance to know the man, right, more than the football coach. I'm attracted more to the man than the football coach, to be honest with you.
"You just know that type of person he's going to bring in is the right guys. I think he made this statement that he thought about the person first before the coach. It just so happened that every coach he brought on are damn good coaches. That just speaks of the integrity of him. What he thinks about first is person, because this is a relationship business. He's done a good job of doing that, so he's going to do great things in this league and I'm going to continue to learn from him. I'm looking forward to game time, looking forward to practice and I know he's going to do a hell of a job with this team."
"The thing I'm most excited about, honestly, is getting here and having a chance to work for Dan Campbell. He's an unbelievable guy. He's put together an amazing staff with Anthony Lynn and AG (Aaron Glenn) and all these guys and then just a bunch of great assistants. Today we were downstairs talking and getting to know everybody and it was incredible listening to everybody's stories and all that. I'm thrilled to death to be here.
"I worked with Dan Campbell for two years and it was a great two years there in Miami. We weren't necessarily a great football team, but there were a bunch of really good coaches on that staff and Dan always stood out to me.
"I think as a coach you're always watching other coaches and watching them teach and watch them go about their craft and you're trying to steal everything you can from all the good ones. You kind of evaluate what they do and what you do and he was a guy I definitely always did that with and said, 'man, this guy is unbelievable.' Just have a lot of respect for him. The way he went about his business. Obviously an ex-player, but could really relate to the players really well and had a great way of communicating and players always kind of rallied around him, so obviously for me, just thrilled to death to be here with him."
"I was thinking about Detroit and getting a call from coach Campbell, he seemed super excited on the phone. I felt the energy through the phone. And then Aaron Glenn gave me a call, and he was like, 'Hey man, we're building something special here and we want you to be a part of it.'
"When I got those two phone calls, man I'm telling you, being in Philadelphia for so long, each year I would get phone calls and opportunities to kind of you know see what was out there, interest from other clubs. But when those two guys reached out to me, it felt good, it felt right and I was happy to be a part of this. I couldn't wait to get here."