Dan Campbell continues to get heavily criticized for his decisions during the Detroit Lions’ collapse to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship, but one of his stars has jumped to his defense.
Penei Sewell said during an interview at the Pro Bowl that he is a staunch supporter of Dan Campbell, saying that he’s “got his back until the end.”
“I don’t agree with any criticism towards Coach. I’ve got his back until the end,” Sewell told ESPN. “If he tells me to jump off a cliff with him, I’m right next to him.”
“I’m so serious. So, whatever he says, whatever he calls, we’ve just got to execute. So, that’s on us really. That’s my guy,” he added.
Why the criticism of Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions?
The Detroit Lions looked on their way to reaching their first Super Bowl when they had a 24-7 halftime lead against the San Francisco 49ers. However, Kyle Shanahan and co. had other plans, as they scored 27 unanswered points in the second half before the Detroit Lions scored a consolation touchdown.
Many believe that Dan Campbell’s aggressiveness cost the Detroit Lions, as they failed to capitalize on several fourth downs by keeping his offense out on the field to go for it instead of kicking field goals to tack on more points.
But looking at it in the bigger picture, it’s not all Dan Campbell’s fault since the Detroit Lions’ poor execution is the main cause of their problems with fourth downs. It can also be noted that their kicker, Michael Badgley, has been particularly bad on kick attempts from at least 40 yards in his NFL career.
The future is bright for the Detroit Lions under Dan Campbell
The defeat against the San Francisco 49ers should not take away from the fact that the Detroit Lions had arguably their best campaign ever, and they’re just getting started. This season, they won two playoff games in the same postseason for the first time since 1957 to make it to their first NFC Championship game in 32 years.
It also helps that they have someone like Penei Sewell, who was rated as the top tackle by the PFF since he was given a 92.1 overall offensive grade. The Oregon product allowed just one sack in 20 games (including the playoffs) and 25 pressures.