Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has taken the blame for releasing veteran long-snapper Don Muhlbach. On his 40th birthday, Muhlbach received the news that he was being released by the Lions. Campbell has received criticism following his decision but he is aware that it comes along with the job.
"No doubt. There's no way to sugarcoat that," Campbell said, per ESPN. "I'm an a--hole. So that's about the best way to put it, and I hate it. There was no way around it, really. Yeah, you can say there is, but ultimately that falls on me.
It's my fault. Don's a helluva dude. It sucks, but it is what it is." Muhlbach spent 17 seasons with the Lions and it is second in Lions history behind Jason Hanson, who spent 21 years with the Lions. "It stinks," Campbell said.
Campbell insists releasing players is never easy
In 2015, Campbell took over the Miami Dolphins as interim head coach. The Dolphins were 1-3 before Campbell took over and they went 5-7 in their last 12 games. "Look, I was fortunate to get -- I did get 12 weeks out in Miami.
So I had already had a bit of a taste of it and really during the hardest time of the year, which was the season," Campbell said, describing the emotions of coaching. "So I kind of knew a little bit of what I was walking into.
Now, what I didn't ever have to worry about necessarily was what's coming down the wire and what had to transpire a couple of days ago when you have to start letting players go that have just given their heart and soul to everything.
"That's hard. For me, I can take things personal at times, if I'm being honest with you. ... It digs on me a little bit, and I hate it because I was in that locker room and I played and I know when you see these guys who literally do give everything they have and you have to let them go or you got to make these decisions, it's tough.
It's real tough because I appreciate them, but it is what it is." Jared Goff, who is the new quarterback for the Lions, spoke positively of Campbell and coaching staff earlier this summer. "I think that's been a healthy relationship and something that's been fun for me to experience and be a part of guys that are really wanting to hear from me and wanting to hear what I like," Goff said.