Dan Campbell and Urban Meyer both entered the 2021 NFL season 0-0. Both teams inherited morbid franchises. Both guys came in with tough guy mentality. Campbell, taking over a hot mess created by Matt Patricia, claimed they were going to be kicking ass, and taking names, biting kneecaps on the way after getting knocked down. He has been mocked unmercifully, present company included. What does he have to show for it so far? 1-11-1. Urban Meyer came in with the tough guy mentality. Bring in his college coaches with him, bring in the college head coach mentality, my way or the highway. "Do you know who I am?' What does he have to show for it? 2-11....and unemployment.
We can go into all of the missteps. Meyer's narcissistic mentality has been well documented. Nothing is ever his fault. He pawned off all of the hiccups at Ohio State to his assistants. Was never the fall guy. The main reason? He was winning. And winning big. Winning cures all evils. He comes into Jacksonville, and right off the get go, was a dumpster fire in the making. Hiring Chris Doyle, the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa that was put on leave for racist comments. Signing Tim Tebow, to the infamous post Cincinnati game nightclub incident, to having zero credibility with his players, not to mention his coaching staff.
Dan Campbell has made some knucklehead decisions, make no mistake about it. Going for it on fourth down in his own territory with the lead. Calling timeouts on consecutive plays. Time management issues. Not exactly making Bill Bellichek shake in his coaching boots. As a long suffering Lions fan, I can tell you, it is concerning. But there is one thing that Campbell has that Urban Meyer will never have, and that is the respect of players and his fellow pro coaching brethren. Urban Meyer has neither. You never have heard Campbell deflect any blame after any of the losses onto his coaches or players. You have yet to hear players in Detroit whine or second guess their coach to the media. After each loss, Campbell has been honest and up front. He may not look the smartest, but at least he is genuine, and up front. I don't think I have ever heard a rookie quarterback or franchise quarterback question the decision making of his own coach this quick like I did with Trevor Lawrence with what he said about Meyer after the last game. Meyer, when asked about what happened with running back James Robinson after a previous game, and why he wasn't in, quickly blamed his assistant coach, Bernie Parmalee. You can get away with that at Ohio State or Florida when you are undefeated and winning national titles, but not when you are 2-11.
Please stop with the narrative that the media had it out for him. These were professional players he was working with. Players in this league long before he got there. Players that made almost as much money as he does. Or did. Where there was smoke, there was definitely a fire brewing. And for those of you that are blaming Josh Lambo, crying sour grapes, stop. Yes, the timing may have not been the greatest, but do you really think this was the main reason? If you do, you have no clue. How would you like to coach with a man who says he had a better coaching staff at Bowling Green? Whose fault is that? I feel sorry for Trevor Lawrence. Here is a once in a generational college quarterback, thrust into this clown show. Digressed for sure.
Dan Campbell may not last more than two years in Detroit. The Lions may be doomed to twenty more years of mediocre play at best. But you never hear one player talking bad of him. It is refreshing after all the vitriol that was spewed about Matt Patricia. Players genuinely want to play for him. You can call him a buffoon or inept all you want. I'll take that over a narcissistic egomaniac anytime.
The College Bowl Season has started. And with that the season of skipping the Bowl games has started, as well. Kenneth Walker of Michigan State, and Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh both announced over the last couple of days that they are going to forgo the Peach Bowl and instead concentrate on their pro careers. Or should I say, avoiding the risk of getting injured and jeopardizing their pro careers. And I do not blame them at all. There is nothing for them to gain in playing in The Peach Bowl. Yes, I know it is a New Year's Six Bowl game, but in this day and age of big money contracts, both on and off the field for these top tier athletes, this is a no brainer. All you need to do is look back at Jake Butt, former TE for Michigan and projected first round talent. His blown out knee and blown out fortunes in the NFL thanks to playing in a meaningless bowl game have been the cautionary tale for all of these projected top players that are not playing for a CFB National Championship.
Is there an answer to pulling out of the bowl games? Is expanding the CFB Playoffs going to keep these players playing bowl games? With the advent of NIL for these college players, yes they are getting paid in college, but the lure of big money isn't enough to keep them in. I am willing to bet, there will come a time when one of the big college teams involved in the playoffs will have this happen to them. How can you ague with them? Really? Unless you can get that Lloyd's of London insurance policy to reach heights of $100 million, you are going to see this happen, sooner or later. Let's just hope it's much later. I really like the CFB playoff in its present form. With all the top names in it.
Hey a reminder, sports is just that...sports. Hug that special someone you know today and tell them you love them. Please.
The Captain Lou Extravaganza
Tuesday nights 8-10PMET Live
photo credit: ashton-clark-02bN29Dz9Sg-unsplash (1).jpg