Allen Park — The optics of having play-calling duties removed implies a demotion, but Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn doesn’t see it that way. A former head coach, Lynn understands coach Dan Campbell’s decision to take the reins.
“I don’t see it as a demotion,” Lynn said. “I’ve been in Dan’s shoes and if I was 0-8, hell, and I need to spark my team being an offensive guy, I probably would have done the same thing, to be honest with you, and I have.
“I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t agree with what he did,” Lynn said. “I thought it worked well. I thought we worked well together last week. He asked me my opinion on certain things and he’d make those calls. But he wanted to talk to the quarterback. That was the main thing. He wanted to communicate with the quarterback and only one person can do that, so he’s got the head set.”
In Campbell’s first game calling plays, the Lions employed a unique, run-heavy game plan to counter the inclement conditions in Pittsburgh. They were further forced to lean into that strategy after quarterback Jared Goff suffered an oblique injury that limited his ability to effectively throw down field.
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The Lions ended up rushing for a season high 229 yards — averaging 5.9 yards per carry — helping them come away with a 16-16 tie against the favored Steelers on the road.
“Dan knows football,” Lynn said about Campbell’s first game calling plays. “Dan is sharp is hell. He’s been in New Orleans with a high-powered offense. He brings a lot of good ideas to the table throughout the week when we’re game planning. I thought he called the game last week that gave us the best chance to win the game. We had to run the ball 40 times in those conditions and I don’t have any problem with that.”
Although he couldn’t put a percentage on it, Lynn said he continued to handle some of the play calls throughout the contest, mixed in with some new duties that kept him on his toes throughout the matchup.
“It was different, but I was probably busier last week than I’ve been all season because I’m trying to assist the head coach and I’m looking at tendencies, writing charts and providing information,” Lynn said. “At the same time, I did call some plays, as well.”
Asked if he expected the new setup to continue throughout the rest of the season, Lynn reiterated Campbell’s comments from earlier in the week that the situation remains fluid.
“Not necessarily,” Lynn said when asked if he expected Campbell to call plays the rest of the season. “We’ll see. I’ve gotta be ready at any time. I’m probably busier now than I’ve ever been.”