Lions owner still believes in Dan Campbell, GM amid 1-5 start

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Of course, Detroit Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp admits she’s frustrated with the 5-1 start to the season, but she still thinks coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes are the right people to direct the rebuild.

Ford Hamp fielded four minutes of questions from reporters during Wednesday’s practice session, asking if their jobs could potentially be in jeopardy regardless of the end result of the season.

“I believe in leadership,” said Ford Hamp.

Ford Hamp assumed primary ownership of the Lions in 2020 after serving as one of the team’s vice-chairmen from 2014–19 to succeed her mother, Martha Firestone Ford, who stepped down.

The Lions lost 24-6 in Dallas on Sunday – their fourth loss in a row.

They are 4-18-1 so far through Season 2 leading with Campbell and Holmes but she feels they are making progress.

“It was just a huge teardown and then a turnaround and we’ve really – we’re only a third of the way through the season,” said Ford Hamp. “We’ve got 11 games left so I just don’t want to ruin it, hit the panic button and give up ship because I think we have the right people in place to pull this off and I really believe that. And I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t believe it.”

Ford Hamp called this transition a tough process, saying it’s hard to stay disciplined because “nobody hates losing more than me, more than my family, but we kind of have to get through it.”

The Lions currently have the longest drought between postseason wins in the NFL, with their last playoff win coming three decades ago on Jan. 5, 1992. They haven’t won more than six games or finished with a record .500 since 2017.

“Everyone is frustrated. I’m frustrated, but again, I really believe in what we have and what we’re going to be,” said Ford Hamp. “It just takes time.”

Saying goodbye in Week 6, Campbell said he had a conversation with Ford Hamp where they gave a thorough and deep dive into the squad – both good and bad – to get a clear understanding of the team’s direction. As a former Lions player who endured the horrific 0-16 season of 2008, Campbell can relate to the long-suffering owners and fanbase hungry for success trying to keep the Same Old Lions narrative going despite yet another rough change beginning.

“Yeah, I told her everything I saw, things that we needed to get better at, offense, defense, special teams, myself and going forward, practice,” Campbell said. “Well really everything. Everything I looked at on our team and felt like we needed to get better. I shared all of these thoughts with her and where we were headed and that was it, so she was informed. “

Turnovers and key mistakes, like the five turnovers in the second half of Detroit’s recent loss to Dallas, have been costly this season. However, Ford Hamp acknowledged the young players in the squad and how they have growing pains. It’s one of the many reasons she said she has patience with the current leadership.

“What I really trust is the process that we went through in the first place when we hired Brad and Dan,” said Ford Hamp. “It was extremely thorough and we really believe we found the right people, so I can’t comment on other teams’ rosters or what they had in the first place. I just know what we had and where we’ve been ‘going.’

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34883574/lions-owner-confident-dan-campbell-gm-amid-1-5-start Lions owner still believes in Dan Campbell, GM amid 1-5 start

Emma Bowman

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