Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell preached the same message to his players all season. Just keep doing your jobs, execute the assignments, focus on the details and the breaks will come. The wins will follow.
It was not an easy sell as the losses mounted. Campbell knew it, but he never wavered.
Now his message is paying off. Two weeks in a row, against NFC North foes no less, makes it a much easier sell for Campbell. The head coach certainly appreciates the wins and his players’ belief in his coaching points.
“We’ve gotten back in a lot of games, but we haven’t been able to finish ‘em out,” Campbell said. “We got ourselves back in this game and won it. That more than anything else means everything to me, to this team. That’s above (being) on the road and all, man, the fact that we did, we battled our way back and they just stayed true to what they’re being coached to do and we made the plays that we had to, to win the game.”
He singled out the defense, which tightened up on the Justin Fields attack in the second half. The final Bears drive ended with back-to-back sacks, one from rookie Aidan Hutchinson and another from Julian Okwara, his second of the game.
“I’m very proud because that’s two weeks in a row now that our defense has come up huge,” Campbell said after the game.
It has not been easy to continue believing in Campbell, not after so many close losses and late-game failures. Failures of his own as well as his players. These two wins were desperately needed for Campbell to maintain credibility with his players. What fans and media think doesn’t matter; it’s all about the players and their trust in their coach. That trust level has to be sky-high after a pair of wins in games these Lions had been losing so painfully.