It sounds crazy to say this about a team that was 2-10 eight months ago, but there are few teams in the league whose fans are more optimistic than the Detroit Lions.
And in comments that might come as something of a surprise, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said at his press conference today that he both hears that optimism and agrees with it.
“People in Detroit, people around the country are very optimistic about the Lions,” Schwartz said. “Every time you pick up a newspaper you’re reading something, or hearing something on TV, and we’re the same way.”
However, Schwartz hastened to add that the reasons for optimism go out the window if the players allow it to affect their approach.
“It doesn’t change the way we feel, it doesn’t change the way we go about our business,” he said. “That’s why I feel strongly about our team, is our ability to stay focused through stuff like that. That can be distracting for some teams. That can be distracting for some players.”
We’ll see if the Lions’ players are distracted, or if the 2011 version of the team looks more like the 2010 squad that finished the year 4-0 than the 2010 squad that started the year 2-10.