ALLEN PARK, Michigan … The energy is the same, even two weeks later. Dan Campbell rocks in his chair in his office as he begins to talk about his new team and his new position as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
In the first two weeks of Campbell’s tenure, the landscape of the list changed dramatically. Matthew Stafford, the Lions’ quarterback since 2009, will travel to the Los Angeles Rams when the new championship year begins in March. In return, Detroit gets three draft picks, two of them in the first round, and a quarterback who could potentially become the current quarterback, Jared Goff.
Campbell couldn’t talk about Goff because of league rules and the issues that permeated the entire NFL over the weekend. But the coach could explain how the offense might change and move now that Stafford is in the West.
Regardless of whether the quarterback ends up being Goff or another player, Campbell said he and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn like to create the pattern that will result in large part from what the player does particularly well.
Wrong!!! Film not specified.Dan Campbell said he and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn expect their quarterback’s skills to dictate the style of attack. The Detroit Lions.
“There are things in common that E-Lynn and I believe in. But at the end of the day, it still had to be built around the quarterback,” Campbell told ESPN Sunday. “And so, depending on the circumstances, let’s say we have our guy from Clemson [Trevor Lawrence] back, well, then we’re going to have a lot more arms trading, things he knew well, things he did at Clemson. If not, you’re dealing with someone more like Stafford, and you can still do your thing with guns, you can still play center, you can still do some of the more traditional things.
“So the plans will be what we think is good for this player, because he is the only one.”
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A source with knowledge of the situation said Saturday night that Detroit is very excited about Goff. Meanwhile, Jeff Darlington of ESPN spoke with Goff Saturday night, and Goff told Darlington, based on conversations he had with Campbell and other Detroit staff members, that the Lions consider him the team’s starting quarterback.
If that happens, Lynn and Campbell will build the offense around Goff. Campbell said the plan – once gathered around the quarterback – will be to put his players in the best position for the call and the offense to succeed.
Error. No Movie Name specified.If Jared Goff is indeed the Lions’ new quarterback after he was officially traded on March 17, Campbell and Lynn both know what Goff is capable of. Jason Getz/USA Sports Today
Don’t be surprised if this means running and playing with the ball a lot.
“[Lynn] is like me in that of course we want to find a way to spin the ball around, because it’s hard,” Campbell said. “If it’s an eight-box and we want to run the ball, we find a way to run it in the eight-box, because there are ways to do that. You need strong men, and they need to understand that. But it’s the same as me in terms of not getting our X out and playing at eight yards, and if you tell me we can throw hitches all the way through and run, that’s where we’re going to throw it.
“We’re not in the Stone Age yet, we’re going to repeat it 40 times.”
So expect some balance, but a clear understanding of the quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses. Lynn is capable of doing just that. With the Buffalo Bills, he made a rushing attack for the NFL in 2016. With the Los Angeles Chargers as head coach, they have always ranked in the top 10 in offensive passing.
So the flexibility is there no matter what the Lions do.
Flaw. Not with specified.the Bills and Chargers, Lynn was able to maximize his quarterback’s physical abilities and build a balanced offense around him. Harry How/Getty Images
Although Goff is available, at least briefly, Campbell will look to the New Orleans Saints for his backup quarterback philosophy: Drew Brees and Taysom Hill were different players with similar elements that the Saints could transfer from one quarterback to another.
“We’re more interested in finding the best guy for the job,” Campbell said. “I don’t think it’s something that needs to be set in stone that he’s a guy who is already very athletic, very mobile and has a 4.3 mph speed,” he said. “I think we’re adjusting to this guy as a starter.
For Campbell, the offensive plan is simple: anything that fits his starting quarterback will be Detroit’s offensive plan. That can mean a lot. It can mean a lot of running.
It remains to be seen how it will play out as Detroit builds its offense around a new signal call for the first time since Campbell was the last Lions player in 2008.
“If you say, ‘OK, here comes the quarterback, he’s got to start for you, man, we’ll work around him,’” Campbell said. “You have to make it work for him.”
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