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Lions head coach Dan Campbell has embraced the growing NFL trend of having an assistant who helps advise him on clock management and situational football. His name is Jon Dykema, and Campbell clearly values what Dykema does for him during and after games.
The official title is a mouthful. Dykema is the Lions’ Director of Football Compliance/Lead Football Counsel. Campbell helped explain just what Dykema does for him and for the team during his press conference on Wednesday. It came in the context of Campbell being asked about his clock management decisions at the end of the Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“I just think it’s good,” Campbell said of having extra eyes and analytical backing on time management decisions. “Look, (Dykema) up in the booth and to have him be able to go – he can hear what we’re saying. He doesn’t necessarily have input per se during the game, but to be able to write everything up and go through the flow of the game and then give me kind of a whole update on it, it helps me for next time. It helps to – ‘Well, maybe we should’ve burned a little more time to try to get to the two-minute to where I’m not having to use a challenge flag. It goes under two minutes and now the challenge is automatic.’ Just little things like that, you don’t burn the timeout. So, I think it helps me”
Campbell acknowledged that he meets with Dykema after every game to review the notes Dykema took during the game.
“Yeah, so I can reevaluate what I did, what I didn’t do, what I can be better at. It does, it helps,” Campbell said.
Dykema hasn’t overruled or directly ordered Campbell in any in-game situations through three weeks. But he does offer some advisement on the decisions.
“He gives you the odds on things,” coach Campbell stated. “There was one of them in there, ‘Hey, we jump offsides, maybe you go for it on fourth-and-5.’ And there is an argument for that, but I just felt like we were in a field position battle and there again, you’ve got to go with your gut sometimes and I felt like, ‘Hey, we can pin these guys down here and defense is playing good.’ And I went with it.”
Campbell’s decision to call timeout before the Ravens’ critical 4th-and-long conversion at the end of the game was all his own. As the coach explained earlier, he wanted to make sure his young defense was all on the same page.