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Dan Campbell keeping fiery reputation in New Orleans

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Dan Campbell's star rose last season during his time as the Dolphins' fiery interim head coach following the ouster of Joe Philbin.

And while he wasn't retained, he's still a fiery head coach in New Orleans, where he's serving as one of Sean Payton's top lieutenants. Payton had to lure him from at least two other teams -- the Vikings and the Cowboys, reportedly -- looking to add him to their staff this offseason.

"I was fortunate enough to have a pretty long career, so I've tried everything," Campbell said, via ESPN.com. "And I've been coached a lot of different ways and techniques, and the beauty of that is you take the best of that with you. So I feel like now that I've gotten to this point, I've got a lot of good things in the toolbox to give these guys that either I've tried or I've seen good players do. That goes from (Jeremy) Shockey to (Jason) Witten ... and all kind of talent level. What a guy can do or can't do with his ability."

Campbell isn't viewing this as a step down and he shouldn't. Among the Saints' biggest free agent acquisitions this season was tight end Coby Fleener. The team inked Fleener, a former second-round pick, to a five-year $36 million contract in hopes that he could help fill the void left by Jimmy Graham inside Payton's offense.

Campbell had a 10-year career at the position and has used his status as a recently-retired vet to propel him in coaching circles. More and more, teams are looking for some of their instructors to meet players at their level.

By all accounts, Campbell is doing so in New Orleans.

"I have really liked working with Dan," Fleener said. "As a former player, he understands it from a different perspective than a lot of guys do. But he's also very intelligent and can explain things in a way that is a lot more in-depth than simple X's and O's. He gives a certain reason for why things go on or why we do things this way or that way, which I really appreciate. He is very passionate about what he does and I appreciate that. I appreciate the way he approaches his work and the way he approaches the players he's coaching ... as intelligent men who can be self-sufficient, while giving us the support we need."

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