Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said Wednesday that she still believes in the leadership of head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes despite Detroit's slow start to the season, and that neither man's job is on the line.
While Hamp told reporters that she relates to the frustration felt amongst the fanbase at the team's 1-5 start, she knows that systemic change takes time, and it wouldn't do anyone any good to be hasty with replacing people.
"Any turnaround, there's gonna be ups and downs. It's not gonna be smooth, boy I wish it were, wouldn't that be simple? But it's not," Hamp said, via SI.com. "But it is a process, and that's what it is. It's hard, it's really hard to stay disciplined, I mean no one hates losing more than I do, than my family does, but we've kind of got through it."
Campbell and Holmes were hired in Jan. 2021 as part of a general overhaul of Detroit's front office to address the team's long-running struggles. Holmes received a five-year contract and Campbell a six-year deal, signaling the long-term investment the Lions were making in the pair with the trust that they'd be able to make changes.
But with these contracts only a year and a half complete and the Lions struggling once again -- going 4-18 under Campbell and Holmes -- there has been increasing discussion over whether the Lions' ownership could take action and make changes at either position.
When asked directly if Holmes or Campbell's jobs were on the line this season, Hamp said that she believes in the team's leadership, and trusts the process that they are going through to develop a new young core of players.
"I really believe in what we've got and what we're going to be," Hamp said, per the team's official site. "It just takes time. What I really have confidence in is the process we went through in the first place when we hired Brad and Dan. It was extremely thorough and we really believe we've come up with the right people."
The Lions have a lot of work to change their franchise from an often last-place finisher in the NFC North to the kind of perennial contender that everyone in Detroit is hoping for.
Campbell and Holmes have already started to make changes in their short time, including the blockbuster trade to send Matthew Stafford to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff, and this year's draft class gains led by defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. And if this year's Hard Knocks episodes are anything to go by, Campbell seems to have earned the support of his players, who have bought in to the process themselves.
While these changes haven't yet shown through the team's record, Hamp nevertheless preached patience in progress over time, repeating her belief in those in charge to lead the rebuild.
"We really believe we're going to turn this thing around the right way, through the draft," Hamp said on Wednesday. "It requires patience. It's frustrating. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. Are the fans frustrated? Absolutely. Are you guys (reporters) frustrated? I think we really are making progress. You've seen it.
"It's just … this was a huge tear down and then turnaround. We really are only a third of the way through the season. We've got 11 more games to go. So I don't want everyone to push the panic button and give up the ship because I think we've got the right people in place to pull this off. And I truly believe that, and I wouldn't say that if I didn't."