It’s rare for expectations to be high for the Detroit Lions, but head coach Dan Campbell is fully embracing them.
Everywhere you look, there’s positive buzz around the Detroit Lions. After being one of the hottest teams in the NFL to end last season, they are the betting favorites to win the NFC North in 2023 and the idea they could win a playoff game is not far-fetched.
For a franchise that has not won its division since 1993, when it was called the NFC Central, and has won one playoff game in the Super Bowl era, expectations simply have not been a burden.
Former Lions defensive tackle Michael Brockers is spending a couple days as a guest host on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” this week. He talked about the burden of expectations for his former team, but not in an overly negative light–more as something a team that hasn’t had expectations needs to be aware of.
Dan Campbell fully embracing expectations for the Lions
If we know anything about Dan Campbell, it’s that he won’t let Lions’ players buy into the outside expectations without working to meet them. Culture and how a player fits it is as important as talent level to him.
At the league meetings this week, via the team website, Campbell address the idea of high expectations for the 2023 Lions.
It’s about raising expectations, you know?” Campbell said. “We got to be thinking that way, and everything we do has to be with that type of purpose… think to take the next step, man, you’re shooting for the division.
You win the division, and you get a home game, then the rest takes care of itself. That’s the next part of the process. Every team should want to go to the Super Bowl every year. So, two years ago, of course … but I think we’re positioned much better to swing with the big boys this year. Now I can’t tell ya what that means in win totals, but that is the goal, man. We’ve got to go get this division.”
“Swing with the big boys.” “We’ve got to go get this division.” These are Campbell-esque quotes, and it’s no secret the NFC North is there for the taking.
The Green Bay Packers are in a state of transition as they part with Aaron Rodgers. The Minnesota Vikings were incredibly lucky to win 13 games last season (11-0 in one score games), and the roster will look different in some key spots as they’ve treaded water this offseason. The Chicago Bears are in a position to get better quickly, but ultimately they’re still the Bears.
It’s no surprise Campbell is fully embracing the expectations for his team. That’s an important tone-set for the players, as cliche’ as it seems, and a public conveyance of a confidence level that has been unheard of in Detroit.