Lions head coach Dan Campbell: An elite QB isn't necessary to have 'sustained success'

The 2022 offseason highlighted the mad scramble NFL teams will make to acquire or hold on to top-tier quarterbacks.

From the Aaron Rodgers extension to the Russell Wilson trade to Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, a new contract for Matthew Stafford, the drama in Baltimore over Lamar Jackson's deal or no deal. On and on. NFL teams revolve their approach to the quarterbacks.

As former Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff once famously said: "Until you find your quarterback, the search for him consumes you."

In the search for the Detroit Lions future quarterback, coach Dan Campbell took a different view: That quarterback doesn't need to be elite for the team to find success.

"No, I don't think you need that," Campbell said Thursday, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "I think that those guys like that are obviously, they're special. And they certainly can give you a better chance. But no, I don't believe you have to have one of those guys to have sustained success."

Perhaps, this is a scenario in which Campbell is simply putting lipstick on a pig, knowing that his current option is Jared Goff, and there is no surefire option in the 2022 NFL Draft to change that immediately. If you can't upgrade, convince yourself you're with the right one, right?

Here is a list of Super Bowl champion QBs of this millennium: Tom Brady (7), Peyton Manning (2), Eli Manning (2), Ben Roethlisberger (2), Drew Brees, Trent Dilfer, Joe Flacco, Nick Foles, Brad Johnson, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson.

So is it a requirement that the quarterback be "elite" to win a Super Bowl? No. Does it increase your chances a whole lot? Absolutely.

The quarterback also can't carry a woebegone team, as Detroit knows given its lack of success with Stafford under center for 12 years. So there is a balance, but having a great QB -- especially a great young QB -- makes winning exponentially easier.

Every quote from a GM and coach should be taken as a possible smokescreen this time of year. But if Campbell believes what he's saying -- that an elite QB isn't necessary and the Lions want an immediate starter with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft -- it would portend Detroit would not select a signal-caller early in the draft.

The Lions appear content to head into the 2022 season with Goff under center and wait until next year to go after their quarterback of the future. Campbell even heaped praise on Goff for how he finished the 2021 season for the three-win Lions.

"I think it's more, man, like, right now, what is best for us right now?" Campbell said. "Now, [GM] Brad [Holmes] got to look at it a little bit farther off than I am, but right now, what gives us the best chance? And man, when — let's build this roster, in general.

"Now, the right guy is sitting there at the right pick at that position, then let's do it. But we like Goff and I like where he's at. He finished strong. Keep adding pieces and then, man, whenever that is -- is it next year? Is it this year? Is it two years from now? And the right guy's sitting there, then you figure out a way to get that guy. You figure out a way when it's the right guy."

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