Dan Campbell trashes himself for cutting Lions’ longtime long snapper on birthday
The Detroit Lions looked pretty cruel when they cut long snapper Don Muhlbach, the team’s longest-tenured player, on his 40th birthday. Coach Dan Campbell is taking full responsibility for that.
Muhlbach, who had been with the Lions since 2004, turned 40 on Tuesday, the same day Campbell publicly announced his impending release. Campbell admitted Thursday that it was a brutal move he wished could have been avoided.
“There’s no way to sugarcoat that,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I’m an a–hole, so that’s about the best way to put it.
“There’s no way around (the business side of the NFL) really. Yeah, you can say there is, but ultimately that falls on me, it’s my fault. And Don’s a hell of a dude. That sucks, but it is what it is.”
Campbell outlined the roster squeeze that led to the move, and made it clear that the Lions had privately discussed the decision with Muhlbach before making it public.
The new Lions coach’s blunt messaging has made him a hit in many circles, but taking responsibility for unpopular decisions should help his cause too. At the very least, players will likely respect this level of honesty, even if the moves that prompt it hurt.