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Jim Caldwell: Lions aren't going to ramp up intensity


Lions coach Jim Caldwell isn't going to be ramping up the intensity (or show any, really) despite the team's newfound position atop the NFC North.

"I mean you don't have one point in time in this league where you can ever say, 'You know what, we're going to take the governor off just a little bit this week,'" Caldwell said via The Detroit Free Press. "It doesn't happen. This is a different ballgame. This is a different league. It's hard to win one game in this league, so no. I don't sense it and if I did, I'd be awfully disappointed. I really would be."

Racing analogy included, Caldwell is right. The Lions have weathered a pretty difficult road to this point behind Caldwell's plodding emotional long-game -- The Free Press referred to it as "stoicism" -- and have no reason to change now.

With games coming up against the Jaguars and burned out Vikings on short rest at home, they have the chance to put some serious distance behind anyone lurking.

Caldwell's balancing act this season has added to one of the more surprising storylines in football. In both Detroit and Tennessee, ownership brought in personnel gurus from New England to become the team's general manager. In both cases, the general manager opted to keep the coach and in both cases, their decisions were met with significant disappointment from the fan base.

Now, both Mike Mularkey and Caldwell are in the throes of a playoff hunt. Tennessee (5-5) just put a shellacking on the Green Bay Packers and has the chance to essentially send another challenger in the division packing.

Maybe it can be looked at as a victory for patience and "stoicism" across the board. Like Caldwell, Mularkey isn't the animated .Gif machine we've come to expect from certain head coaches but lays the groundwork behind the scenes with a professional, positive and comfortable atmosphere for players. Why change now?


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