Lions coach Dan Campbell: Kneecaps speech


The day after the most memorable introductory news conference in Detroit Lions history, Dan Campbell’s bite-your-kneecaps-off speech still was the talk of social media and across the NFL.

Campbell, introduced as Lions coach Thursday, said in multiple appearances Friday his passionate description of his vision for his new team reached its intended audience — his players and the fans of Detroit — and he was not worried about any negative feedback nationally.

“No offense to anybody else that’s outside of this community, my message was for our players and for our community, for Motown,” Campbell said on NFL Network. “That to me was who I needed to reach. It wasn’t about, no offense, everybody outside of this community.

“I’m (not) trying to reach New York and Dallas and Los Angeles. That didn’t mean anything to me. I knew that this was the community that I was speaking to, and I felt like what do you give them something that — I wanted them to have a piece of me but I wanted them to know that, man, I get it.”

Campbell opened his news conference Thursday with an emotional 19-minute speech about the road he took to becoming a head coach and why he was a fit in Detroit. A Lions tight end in 2006-08, he said he wanted the job “bad” because “I felt like I knew this community.”

“This place has been kicked, it’s been battered, it’s been bruised, and I can sit up here and give you coach speak all day long,” Campbell said. “I can give you, ‘Hey, we’re going to win this many games.’ None of that matters and you guys don’t want to hear it anyway. You’ve had enough of that shit, excuse my language.

“Here’s what I do know, is that this team is going to take on the identity of this city. And this city’s been down and it found a way to get up. It’s found a way to overcome adversity. So this team’s going to be built on: we’re going to kick you in the teeth, all right, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you and when you knock us down, we’re going to get up, and on the way up, we’re going to bite a knee cap off. And we’re going to stand up and then it’s going to take two more shots to knock us down. And on the way up, we’re going to take your other kneecap, and we’re going to get up and then it’s going to take three shots to get us down. And when we do, we’re going to take another hunk out of you. Before long, we’re going to be the last one standing. That’s going to be the mentality.”


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