Dan Campbell

Anthony Lynn Originally Planned To Sit Out 2021

Often times when NFL head coaches get fired, they sit out the following season to regroup and plot their next move. Not Anthony Lynn.

Lynn moved quickly after he was let go by the Chargers, accepting a role on Dan Campbell’s inaugural Lions staff as his offensive coordinator. But apparently Lynn’s original plan was in fact to sit out the 2021 season, he revealed on a recent episode of ‘Compas on the Beat’ podcast, via Fernando Ramirez of SI.com. “I was actually going to sit this year out, but when they called, I had to go because I wanted to be a part of that. I knew it’s going to be something special,” he said.

I’ve been on the sideline since I was six years old. I have not had a break since I was six years old, literally, every single fall,” Lynn explained. “I really had my mind made up that I was going to take a gap year travel a little bit, go see some other teams, visit some of the coaches that I know, and see how they’re doing things. I had made my mind up to sit out this year, but then when Dan called, you know, that changed everything.

Not to question Lynn’s sincereness, but he did also talk to the Seahawks about their OC opening, so it appears Campbell might not have been the only coach he was willing to work for. Either way, his fondness for Campbell seems very real. Lynn was the running backs coach of the 2005 Cowboys team that Campbell played on, so there was already a connection here.

Lynn has never been a full-time OC in the league, and wasn’t the primary play-caller during his time as Chargers head coach, so it’ll be very interesting to see how things work out in Detroit. He’s got Jared Goff at his disposal for his first season.

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Lions Never Offered HC Job To Matt Campbell?

This week, it was rumored that the Lions offered an eight-year, $68.5MM deal to Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. But, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions never put an offer on the table. 

Furthermore, Birkett hears that the Cyclones coach only spoke to the Lions once during the process. And, while other notable names were tied to the job, new HC Dan Campbell was the only candidate to ever receive an offer to be the Lions’ head coach.

It’s possible that something got lost in the game of telephone. Or, perhaps Matt Campbell’s camp is looking to increase the coach’s buzz. For what it’s worth, Dan said he sensed that the Lions were extremely bullish on Matt.

Just in regards to the head coach search, how I ended up here, one of things would be that I told my agent, Rick Smith, I said make sure that they think I’m Matt Campbell, so I think that’s how this has really worked out great for me,” the Lions head coach said (via Birkett). “So now that I’m in the seat, I am Dan Campbell. But I do know this, you can’t go wrong with a Campbell.”

In addition to the Campbells, the Lions were also connected to Darrell BevellEric BieniemyTodd Bowles, Marvin Lewis, Urban Meyer, Robert Saleh, and Arthur Smith.

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Lions To Add John Dorsey To Front Office

The Lions have a brand new power structure, having recently hired Brad Holmes as general manager and Dan Campbell as head coach. Now, Detroit is adding a more experienced voice to the mix, with Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reporting that the team is expected to hire John Dorsey as a senior personnel executive (Twitter link). Dorsey, 60, had been working as a consultant for the Eagles.

Dorsey, who drew interest from the Texans for their GM post before Houston elected to hire Nick Caserio, has served as general manager for both the Chiefs and Browns. Neither of those tenures ended on a particularly positive note, but that wasn’t due to Dorsey’s abilities as a talent evaluator. His reputation in that area is sterling, and he is largely responsible for the construction of the current iteration of the Browns — who nearly advanced to the AFC Championship Game this year — and for Kansas City’s starry corps of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.

In addition to his drafting of Mahomes and Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield while serving as a general manager, Dorsey was the Packers’ director of college scouting when Green Bay drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005. And as a young scout in 1994, he recommended that the Packers sign Kurt Warner as a UDFA.

His eye for quarterback talent is especially important this year, as the Lions are preparing to trade Matthew Stafford and may well turn to the draft for his replacement. Plus, Dorsey’s experience should be an asset to Holmes, who is getting his first shot as a GM after working as the Rams’ director of college scouting for the past eight seasons.

Campbell will also have a major role in personnel decisions, as Justin Rogers of the Detroit News writes. Rather than a traditional HC-GM-owner structure, Holmes, Campbell, and vice president of football operations Mike Disner will report directly to president Rod Wood and owner Sheila Ford Hamp.

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Lions Sign Dan Campbell To Six-Year Deal

The Lions have officially hired Dan Campbell as their new head coach. The former Saints assistant inked a six-year commitment on Wednesday morning (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport), a sign of Detroit’s confidence in the former tight end. 

[RELATED: Lions Hire Brad Holmes As GM]

This is an exciting day for our organization as we introduce Dan Campbell as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “With more than twenty years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigors of professional football and what it takes to be successful. He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves.”

Campbell was the reported frontrunner for the vacancy, but with Lions couldn’t hire him until the Saints were eliminated from the playoffs. Eric BieniemyMarvin Lewis, Arthur Smith, and Robert Saleh were also considered for the job, but Campbell made a strong impression in his first interview and quickly secured the gig.

The Lions fired Matt Patricia just after Thanksgiving, capping his tenure with a 13-29-1 record. They also canned GM Bob Quinn, who was replaced by former Rams exec Brad Holmes earlier this month.

The Lions haven’t made the playoffs since 2016; they believe the energetic Campbell can turn things around. The 44-year-old has spent the last five years as a Saints assistant. Previous to that, Campbell climbed the coaching ladder, all the way up to the Dolphins’ interim head coaching job in 2015. A few years later, the Dolphins asked Campbell to interview for the permanent post, but he opted to wait for a better fit. Now, Campbell has found the right landing spot — and a six-year commitment — with the Lions.

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2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Lions To Hire Dan Campbell?

Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell has emerged as the favorite to become the Lions’ next head coach, sources tell Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Lions can’t make it all official until after the Saints’ season is over, but Campbell seems primed to take over in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, the Lions have called off today’s scheduled interview with Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). Bowles was something of a longshot to get the gig, but it’s another indication that the Lions have settled on Campbell.

Campbell interviewed with the Lions on Jan. 11th and instantly made a strong impression on Detroit brass. Along the way, the Lions have also checked in with big-name candidates such as Eric BieniemyMarvin Lewis, Arthur Smith, and Robert Saleh. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell was also considered but, like Bowles, he never had strong odds of getting the permanent post.

The hire would complete Campbell’s rise up the coaching ladder, which began in 2010 with a Dolphins internship. In 2015, he wound up as the Fins’ interim head coach. A few years later, he declined the opportunity to interview for their HC vacancy. Now, it seems like Campbell has found the right fit.

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Lions To Interview Dan Campbell

The Lions are set to interview Saints assistant Dan Campbell in the coming days, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The club has also formally scheduled an interview with Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles

Campbell moved up the coaching ranks soon after retiring in 2021. Starting as a coaching intern with the Dolphins in 2010, he advanced to Miami’s interim head coach in 2015. After impressing in that brief run, he hooked on with the Saints. A few years later, the Dolphins requested an interview, but he had no interest in a South Beach reunion. He did, however, say yes to the Browns, Cardinals, and Packers.

Bowles, who had just 24 wins across four seasons as the Jets’ head coach, reported to be on the Lions’ list a few days ago. Here’s the current list, via PFR’s 2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker:

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Jets, Falcons, Lions To Interview Eric Bieniemy

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. He’ll conduct virtual interviews with the Lions and Falcons on Monday afternoon, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Meanwhile, the Jets have officially requested an interview of their own.

Head coaching candidates whose teams are in the playoffs aren’t allowed to interview until after wild-card weekend. But, for Bieniemy, there’s a loophole, thanks to the Chiefs’ first-round bye. The same goes for 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who is also slated to meet with the Lions. The Lions’ latest round of interview requests also includes Saints AHC/TE coach Dan Campbell and Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Saleh, a Dearborn, Michigan native, may be poised for a homecoming. Still, the Lions have a candidates list in the double digits, so he’ll have lots of competition. Bieniemy, of course, is one of the hottest coaches on the block, and he has the offensive acumen the Lions need to get the most out of their talent.

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Saints’ Dennis Allen, Dan Campbell On Expiring Contracts

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell are on the last year of their respective deals, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). New Orleans wants to keep both men on board, so the club will have some work to do when its season is over.

Allen flopped as the Raiders’ head coach earlier this decade, but his run with New Orleans has been largely successful. He replaced Rob Ryan during the 2015 season as the team’s interim defensive coordinator and was retained the following offseason. The Saints’ D has made big strides since then, and in 2018, Allen’s unit ranked second in the league against the run and tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks. He scored an interview for the Dolphins’ head coaching gig earlier this month, and while he did not land the job, he has clearly reestablished himself as a top assistant.

Campbell, meanwhile, has quickly moved up the ranks since starting his post-playing career as a coaching intern with the Dolphins in 2010. He served as Miami’s interim head coach in 2015, and he impressed during that brief run. He has been with the Saints since 2016, and while the Dolphins wanted to interview him for their HC vacancy this year, Campbell had no interest in a South Beach reunion. He did, however, have head coaching interviews with the Browns, Cardinals, and Packers, so like Allen, he is clearly a respected figure in coaching circles.

The Saints will take on the Rams in the NFC title game this afternoon, and while it seems as though New Orleans will be able to retain Allen and Campbell in 2019, there is no guarantee they will be in the Big Easy in 2020.

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Coaching Notes: McCarthy, Jets, Saints, Lions, Falcons

Mike McCarthy will be interviewing for the Jets‘ head coaching vacancy today, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). We previously heard that the organization was going to interview the former Packers head coach.

The two sides seem like a logical pairing. Considering McCarthy’s connection with future Hall of Famer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the organization would seemingly see him as a fit with rookie Sam Darnold. Meanwhile, McCarthy would surely be attracted by the team’s $100MM+ in cap space.

We heard earlier this week that McCarthy was looking to stay close to his two high-school aged stepchildren in Green Bay. That would be a positive for suitors like the Jets and Browns, and it may explain why McCarthy ultimately wasn’t interested in the Cardinals gig.

Let’s check out some more coaching rumblings from around the NFL…

  • It will be a busy day for Saints coaches. As Albert Breer tweets, assistant head coach Dan Campbell will be meeting with the Packers and CardinalsDennis Allen is interviewing with the Dolphins, and Pete Carmichael will be meeting with Green Bay. Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport provides an update (via Twitter) on Patriots linebackers coach (and de facto defensive coordinator) Brian Flores, who will be meeting with the Browns and Broncos today.
  • Lions general manager Bob Quinn made it clear that he isn’t in any rush to find a replacement for former offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. “There’s no timetable,” Quinn said (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “We’re just going to get this right. There’s no rush. The way this works in the NFL is you can’t talk to people that are employed by other teams, so there’s a waiting period if teams are still playing. So our candidate pool is pretty wide right now, so we’re going to keep it wide until it narrows down and then we’ll go hire the right guy.” Quinn also noted that the decision will “primarily” be made by head coach Matt Patricia.
  • Similarly, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn won’t be making a decision on a new offensive coordinator in the upcoming days. “I would say there’s nothing to announce today,” Quinn said (via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure). “I’m not going to put like two weeks or a week [on it], but it’s not in the next few days.” Quinn also noted that quarterback Matt Ryan may have a say in the who gets hired. “Well, I think Matt has input because of his familiarity with the offense,” Quinn said. “But as far as going to select people, that’s not part of his influence. … He has a part of it, but not part of who, if that makes sense.” The Falcons fired all three of their coordinators (offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong) earlier this week. The team has reportedly interviewed former Falcons coordinator Mike Mularkey for the offensive position, and they’re also eyeing former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.