July 19, 2024

NFL News: Dan Campbell send sorrowful words to the fans and new motivation for 2024 season after playoff…

As much as we have been treated to passionate locker room speeches and behind-the-scenes looks throughout a run that few will soon forget, there isn’t much to say about its sudden end.

The Detroit Lions’ postgame locker room was somber Sunday. Empty. Few words can numb the pain for which this game is responsible. Dan Campbell, who has played or coached in the NFL for 25 years, knows the feeling all too well.

You can only say so much,” Campbell said. “You gotta live it, unfortunately. You’ve gotta get your heart ripped out, which we did. It’s a lesson learned.”

There are many lessons to take from the Lions’ soul-crushing 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, and the 2023 season that was. Players won’t want to hear them now, believing that was a game they should’ve won. They watched a 24-7 first-half lead evaporate, and their dreams of a Super Bowl with it. The wound is still fresh. But those lessons could pay dividends down the road when they’re ready to harness this feeling.

And, to be clear, this feeling is new. The Lions under Campbell had never been here before, on this stage, together. They thought they were good enough. They believed they were good enough. They looked good enough. Their efforts weren’t. It’s starting to sink in.

“I’ve played on enough teams to know that I’m not gonna see some of these guys anymore,” left tackle Taylor Decker said. “So that sucks. You’re just appreciative of the guys in here because, man, it’s hard to win and hard to get to this point. But ultimately, we didn’t do enough.”

It led to their best season in a generation. What will come from their latest finish?

“You know, we obviously accomplished a lot,” linebacker and team captain Alex Anzalone said. “I think we definitely changed the narrative of this organization. It’s disappointing and only one team gets to hold the trophy at the end of the year. But I think we definitely turned the table of how we’re perceived as a team and even competing in this game I think that we let the world know, let the league know, what we’re about going forward.”

This s— (is) on, bro,” right tackle Penei Sewell said. “That’s all I gotta say.”

Campbell was honest with his players about how hard it is to get here. Five years ago, he was the tight ends coach in the NFC Championship Game with the New Orleans Saints — a game with a controversial no-call pass interference that propelled the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl. The Saints haven’t been back since.

“This s— (is) on, bro,” right tackle Penei Sewell said. “That’s all I gotta say.”

Campbell was honest with his players about how hard it is to get here. Five years ago, he was the tight ends coach in the NFC Championship Game with the New Orleans Saints — a game with a controversial no-call pass interference that propelled the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl. The Saints haven’t been back since.

 

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