Jim Caldwell: Lions won't shoot themselves in the foot


Give Jim Caldwell this: The man makes a strong first impression.

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The newest coach of the Detroit Lions quoted the Bible and an ancient Chinese proverb during his introductory press conference on Wednesday. At one point, he asked the media members in attendance, "Do you believe in providence?"

Caldwell does. He believes he was brought to Detroit to bring the Lions their first Super Bowl championship. Caldwell's task is no simple one: He must instill a sense of discipline, maximize the potential of a talented-but-flawed quarterback and make fans forget he was the second (or perhaps third) choice for the job.

Most importantly, he must build a consistent winner. He'll get far less time to do so than his predecessor, Jim Schwartz.

"We're going to be smart," Caldwell said. "We're going to be a football team that takes the field, that's not going to shoot itself in the foot."

The Lions went 11-21 over the past two seasons. That's fairly grisly, though you won't find many people who will argue the team is -- or should be -- rebuilding. Caldwell knows it.

"Every single one of them, to a man, are excited about the opportunity they have presented before them, and I think that without question they're willing to do whatever it takes to win," he said. "They believe, and I believe, the time is now. Not two years or three years from now, down the road somewhere, but right here, right now."

Call it providence, luck or simple circumstance, but Caldwell has landed in an enviable spot. He inherits a talented team that plays in a mediocre division. Caldwell is going to get a real shot of making the most of his second opportunity.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" interviews Carolina Panthers star Greg Hardy and looks ahead to the conference title games.