Dan Campbell is a unique coach, but the fingerprints of his longtime mentor, Sean Payton, are evident. Campbell spent several years as a player and coach under Payton’s watchful eye in New Orleans with the Saints.
Now that Payton has stepped away from coaching, Campbell has been released to talk about the influence he has taken from his longtime boss.
“Sean was my mentor, man,” Campbell told Detroit media on Wednesday. “I think the world of him. I learned more under Sean than any other head coach in my time as a player. I was with him for eight of my 11 years as a player under him and then a coach under him for five years. I had both sides of it, as a player and a coach. And so really everything I am, or what I am, or how I think, really comes from him in a sense.
One of Campbell’s most notable traits as a rookie head coach at Detroit was his compassionate and emotional interaction with his Lions players. Campbell drew a direct line to Payton as an influence.
(Payton) knew how to get the best out of his players, he knows how to put his players in a position to succeed better than anyone I’ve been around,” Campbell said. “He knows how to use the entire roster on match day. And man, I think his ability to know, hey, is what this player needs. This player needs a boot from the back, or this player needs a hug, or just how to get motivated. These are things you never forget. »