Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Among Most Respected by Fans
We've come a long way from that "biting kneecaps" comment. I mean, don't get me wrong, the Detroit Lions are still biting kneecaps, but the perception around the phrase has changed drastically.
Dan Campbell became the Lions head coach ahead of the 2021 season and knew that just as every coach before him, he'd be tasked with dragging the franchise out of a mire-filled gutter. Year one was a struggle as the greatest quarterback in franchise history, Matthew Stafford, was traded away to Los Angeles where he'd win a Super Bowl. In return, the Lions got several draft picks and Jared Goff, a first-overall pick that hadn't quite lived up to the expectations of the selection as Stafford did.
The Lions finished 3-13-1. It was more of the same, even if the Lions scored a lot of points in many of those losses. Still, it was Campbell's first real crack at a head coaching gig (he was the interim coach in Miami in 2015 and had the team go 5-7 under his direction) and expectations were low.
To at least begin to show progress in the rebuild was the goal in 2022 and Campbell's crew nearly exceeded all expectations, finishing 9-8 and just missing the playoffs on a tiebreaker with the Seattle Seahawks. In the process, the Lions showed a personality on Hard Knocks that Lions and NFL fans alike could root for.
It's only right that Campbell be recognized for his efforts in Detroit. According to a data set put together by Betway.com, it appears Campbell is receiving his flowers justly.
The data analyzed tweets over the past year that mentioned NFL head coaches. It tallied the number of tweets and determined the percentage of positive sentiment in those tweets to rank the league's coach by popularity.
NFL fans are rather ruthless, as only one coach had more than a quarter of tweets mentioning him holding some positive reinforcement. That honor goes to Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson. With only 67k tweets, 26.2% of them were positive. Makes sense considering the Jags made the playoffs after one of the most forgettable seasons in team history, which is really saying something.
The next highest positive online sentiment score went to the Lions coach. Campbell had over 107k tweets with 24% holding a positive outlook. Campbell has won over the fan base in Detroit, but also some of the minds around the league.
The rest of the NFC North didn't quite as well, though they did land in the top half of the rankings by percentage. Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberglus only had 33k tweet mentions, but 19.8% were positive in nature. Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell had 34k tweet mentions with an 18% positive online sentiment score. Finally, Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur had 55k tweets and only 15.5% of them were positive.
The most tweeted about coach was Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel who had a 14.2% positive online sentiment score. The least popular? Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. In 85k tweets, only 8.6% were positive.
Check out the full data set here.