Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell takes heat for cutting Don Muhlbach

ALLEN PARK (Mich.) -- Although the X's, O's, and O's of football are easy for Dan Campbell, first-year Detroit Lions coach, he is a former player who can sometimes wear his heart on his sleeve.
One of those moments was Tuesday, when he had the unpleasant news that the Lions would be releasing Don Muhlbach, a veteran long-snapper on his 40th Birthday.

Campbell heard criticisms about the transaction, but also learned that they are part of the job.

"No doubt. Campbell stated, "There's no way to sugarcoat it." Campbell said, "I'm an a**hole. That's the best way to describe it. I hate it. It was impossible to avoid it. Yes, it is true. But ultimately, that's my fault. It's all my fault. It's my fault. It's a pain, but that is the nature of it."

Muhlbach was a teammate of Campbell's when he played for the Lions between 2006 and 2008. Muhlbach was a two-time Pro Bowler and was a three time team captain.

His 17-year tenure with the Lions is second to Jason Hanson's 21.

Campbell stated, "It stinks."

Campbell said that he learned from his time as interim head coach in Miami when he made these kinds of decisions. Campbell helped the Dolphins go from 1-3 to 5-7 before he took over.

"Look, I was lucky to get -- I did get twelve weeks out in Miami. Campbell described the emotions associated with coaching, saying that he had had a little taste of it. "So I had a good idea of the situation I was entering. What I didn't have to worry about was what was coming down the wire. It had to happen a few days ago when you have start letting go of players who have given everything they have.

It's difficult. If I'm honest with myself, I can sometimes take it personal. It can be a bit embarrassing. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. It's hard because I love them. But it is what it IS.