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Jim Schwartz: Lions are as optimistic as their fans

St. Louis Rams v Detroit Lions Getty Images

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.

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37 Responses to “Jim Schwartz: Lions are as optimistic as their fans”
  1. lionfan419 says: Jul 28, 2011 11:45 AM

    I am a believer, now go sign a cb and protect Stafford!!

  2. icuwoot says: Jul 28, 2011 11:47 AM

    I don’t know how we’ll do this season record wise, but I’m more excited for this team than I have been pretty much since Barry retired. It would really be a downer if this team stunk really bad again.

  3. southcakpanther says: Jul 28, 2011 11:47 AM

    Lions are going to be good. That D Line will be hard to handle.

  4. simplesimon1 says: Jul 28, 2011 11:53 AM

    What is he supposed to say. “No, I think we have no chance this year”….Then cry?

    Come on. He is optimistic, and myself and other Lions fans and players are the same. It feels nice to be heading in the right direction after years of ineptness due to Matt Millen.

    There’s a reason why players have come out to the press this off season and expressed they want to play for the Lions. They are one of the up and coming teams. About time!!!

    Go Lions!!!

  5. simplesimon1 says: Jul 28, 2011 11:53 AM

    Now go add Tulloch or a CB

  6. hobartbaker says: Jul 28, 2011 11:56 AM

    Sgt. Shwartz “zees nussing wrong. Nussing!”.

  7. mikilos says: Jul 28, 2011 11:56 AM

    Optimistic, or just dumb?

  8. m2karateman says: Jul 28, 2011 12:02 PM

    Optimism, yes. But clearly the fans are cautiously optimistic. There are still pieces of the puzzle that must be added, such as secondary help and at least one more quality linebacker. Securing Cliff Avril long term and getting the rookies signed today so that they are in camp ASAP would be a step in the right direction as well.

  9. kane337 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:02 PM

    Can’t wait to see that Dline play. If it lives up to the hype the Lions will be a much better football team.

  10. jordan52187 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:04 PM

    going to love using this team in madden, after trading for some secondary of course

  11. wydok says: Jul 28, 2011 12:06 PM

    I don’t see them winning the division, but I can see the Lions easily going 8-8 or 9-7. Maybe get the 6th seed in the playoffs. I have a soft spot for them, they are my Dad’s favorite team.

  12. sterilizecromartie says: Jul 28, 2011 12:06 PM

    I’d hate to rain on the Lions parade but…

    Philly, Dallas, NYG, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Throw in some team from the NFC West and there are eight teams with a higher likelihood of making the playoffs.

    A 9-7 season without the playoffs seems likely.

  13. emoney826 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:08 PM

    2nd place team with upside.

  14. ampking101 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:10 PM

    I hope you guys do well this season. I know how it is to have a sorry team and be able to see them mature and flesh out to a number one seed (Falcon fan here). So I would like to see the lions push through to a winning season, let alone a play off season. They are getting smarter with the players they pick up (Calvin and Best anyone?) Now all they need is a true franchise QB that can get the job done. Knowing my fair share of true Lion fans, I would be happy to see them turn into a full fledged team.

  15. pc1976 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:13 PM

    We shouldn`t get too carried away yet. Great turnaround from Schwarz but we`re still poor in a number of areas. An above .500 record in a very tough division will be a big positive. Then next year…

  16. wheresmyjuice says: Jul 28, 2011 12:13 PM

    I’m a Packers fan and even I’m excited to see what the Lions do this year.

  17. dbellina says: Jul 28, 2011 12:17 PM

    You have the ring. And I see that your Schwartz is as big as mine. Let’s see how you handle it.

  18. suhnami says: Jul 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    The Lions IMO, from top to bottom, are going to be in the toughest division in football in 2011, and IF they can get through it and make the playoffs they’ll be a tough team to handle.

    Keep building it the right way Schwartz!

  19. kriswd40 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    I’m optimistic we’ll be better yes but not crazy optimistic. We’ve got a legit change at 8-8 and maybe even snagging a Wild Card spot… especially if Stafford can stay healthy.

  20. ramofsteel says: Jul 28, 2011 12:21 PM

    What else is he supposed to say? “We appreciate the optimisim but ask fans to temper it in case we might disappoint.”

  21. scoops1 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:35 PM

    the only reason i like Schwartz is cause he is an Iron Maiden fan

  22. suhnami says: Jul 28, 2011 12:36 PM

    ampking101 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:10 PM

    I hope you guys do well this season. I know how it is to have a sorry team and be able to see them mature and flesh out to a number one seed (Falcon fan here). So I would like to see the lions push through to a winning season, let alone a play off season. They are getting smarter with the players they pick up (Calvin and Best anyone?) Now all they need is a true franchise QB that can get the job done. Knowing my fair share of true Lion fans, I would be happy to see them turn into a full fledged team.

    —————————————————-

    “Now all they need is a true franchise QB…”

    Have you ever watched Stafford? We have a franchise QB, he just needs to stay healthy plain and simple. If he’s under center for all 16 this team has a legit shot at winning the division.

  23. mocheese1921 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:37 PM

    every year lions fans get all excited about what their team has done in the offseason and every year they are disappointed.On paper this team looks to be good,but they havn’t even been 8-8 in over ten years.Im still not sure why everyone is so high on stafford either.out of the last 2 seasons he has missed 19 games due to injury.His record in those 13 starts he has is 3-10.

  24. steelers4385 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:40 PM

    Calvin johnson is an unstoppale machine. He once blocked a roundhouse kick from chuck norris.

  25. southcakpanther says: Jul 28, 2011 12:43 PM

    sterilizecromartie says:
    Jul 28, 2011 12:06 PM
    I’d hate to rain on the Lions parade but…

    Philly, Dallas, NYG, Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Throw in some team from the NFC West and there are eight teams with a higher likelihood of making the playoffs.

    A 9-7 season without the playoffs seems likely.
    ————————

    Dallas LOL

    sorry, no disrespect meant towards you sterilizecromartie

  26. fartography says: Jul 28, 2011 12:46 PM

    You can call me optimistic if we’re .500 through 8 games and Stafford’s shoulder is still in one piece. I’d be ecstatic if those two things happened.

    You have to understand what optimistic means for Lions fans. We just want a whiff of the playoffs and we want to see our D-line start bulldozing QB’s. Baby steps.

  27. southcakpanther says: Jul 28, 2011 12:47 PM

    Off topic, but is there anything better than seeing the Cowboys fail? I hope they crap the bed again this season.

    now, back to the Lions getting better.

  28. fcs34 says: Jul 28, 2011 12:49 PM

    The fact the Lions still have fans should be considered a minor miracle.

  29. steelers4385 says: Jul 28, 2011 1:04 PM

    Dallas is a poor excuse for. Football team. Lions got cheated by bears last year’ and held the packers to 3 points after whipping around rodgers and hurting him for game. I think if they did that last year i dnt rlly forsee them having bigger issues in that division this year. Packers wk. Superbowl yes… But barley made playoffs. The bears are so overrated its sickening. God knows how they even got to the nfc championship last year. And mcnabb is only gunna get pouned again by the lions to be replaced by ponder haha. Im happy for the lions because they deserve to be better.

  30. jsrdc says: Jul 28, 2011 1:08 PM

    @southcakpanther, Yes, you are completely off topic. Reveling in other’s failure doesn’t make you any better – it only makes you that much worse. Misery loves company is a good way to describe what you just said, and you must be miserable, especially if you are a Panther fan, as your name suggests. If you are a Lion’s fan, the misery bit is also very much understood especially due to the last 20+ years and zero SB’s in the Lion’s legacy, but you have a lot to look forward to. I am not a Lion’s fan, but I am excited to see how this team does with all the talent they have brought in. I think Marion Barber would be a good fit here with Best and the rookie RB Leshoure they drafted. If Stafford can stay upright, he should be good. They are definitely up and coming, and they are a great story. If any city needed a lift, Detroit is it. Maybe the Lions can help in that capacity. Superbowl talk is way to premature this year, but in the next couple of years, it may very well be a reality. It always takes a perfect storm to win it all, but Detroit have had great drafts and continue to make moves that signal they are moving in the right direction.

  31. ampking101 says: Jul 28, 2011 1:15 PM

    suhnami says: Jul 28, 2011 12:36 PM

    Have you ever watched Stafford? We have a franchise QB, he just needs to stay healthy plain and simple. If he’s under center for all 16 this team has a legit shot at winning the division.

    _______________________

    I have watched Stafford and yes he is a legit QB, that being said I just can’t see him being the QB to lead the Lions to a ring. I mean I’ll throw in Vick as an example. That man took us to many a playoff, that being said that man was never…I repeat ever going to take us to a SB. Yes Stafford is a better QB than Vick was when he was at the helm of the Falcons however that is his biggest problem for Stafford, he can’t stay healthy plain and simple. That’s the same reason Romo will never get a ring, he can’t stay healthy.

  32. jsrdc says: Jul 28, 2011 1:18 PM

    @Steelers4385, still all butt-hurt about last year’s SB loss I see. Dallas is a poor excuse for a football team? You are easily a poor excuse for a hater – you aren’t fooling anybody. Come on – Dallas is only one SB behind your Steelers all-time – perhaps that is why you are so anti-Cowboys? Until JJ got to Dallas, they weren’t nearly as hated. You can hate the owner all you want, and that is pretty obvious that you do, but don’t fault the team because you hate their fans, or for what the owner does, or what the press tries to convince people of every day with regards to the Cowboys. The Steelers are a great team, but their fans can be unequivocal crybabies. That goes for any team, but I don’t dislike the Steelers or any other team because their fans are jerks (well, maybe a couple of teams I do, but not the Steelers). This was supposed to be about the Lions, but it is so true that non-Cowboy fans LOVE to hate the Cowboys. So sad, really, as it is just a complete waste of time and energy to hate on other teams.

  33. ampking101 says: Jul 28, 2011 1:35 PM

    jsrdc says: Jul 28, 2011 1:18 PM

    “Cowboy fans LOVE to hate the Cowboys. So sad, really, as it is just a complete waste of time and energy to hate on other teams.”

    _______________________

    Yes and no to the first statement. I don’t hate the Cowboys but I dislike them because where I live the state is filled aplenty with ‘Cowboy’ fans that can’t even name 5 players beside Tony Romo and that don’t even watch the games. That being said I’m interested to see what Jason Garret does with the Cowboys.

    About the second statement. Completely incorrect. If that were the case what are the point of rivalries? I will forever hate the Saints simply because they are the Falcons biggest rivals. I respect Brees but I don’t like him because he is a Saint. Just like many a true Saint fan hate Ryan. As a Cowboy fan I would think you of all people would understand seeing as the Redskin-Cowboy rivalry is one of the biggest in the NFL.

  34. 8man says: Jul 28, 2011 1:36 PM

    I’m optimistic and I’m not even a fan.

  35. nard100 says: Jul 28, 2011 2:03 PM

    mocheese1921, Thanks for brining some sanity back to this conversation! Let’s be honest, this might as well be the beginning of the regular season for Lions fans. I say that because every year at this time we hear how the Lions are going to do something this time and by the end of September reality sets in. I also love how people talk like Stafford’s being stubborn or irresponsible in his play to end up being unhealthy. That’s a joke! Folks, remember at one point last season, there was talk of using the EMERGENCY qb in a game. Pass rushers are great, but not when you hang ‘em out to dry for 40+ minutes a game! Face it, you can’t protect your qb period. Hard to go “16-0″ when your punter is hurling the ball ’cause all 3 of your qb’s are down. Optimism is nice, but the Lions have LONG way to go.

  36. klunge says: Jul 28, 2011 3:30 PM

    mocheese1921 says:
    every year lions fans get all excited about what their team has done in the offseason and every year they are disappointed.On paper this team looks to be good
    ————————————–
    No, on FILM the team looks to be good. We fans like what’s on paper, but that isn’t what is swaying most other fans, analysts, writers, and even other teams to respect what’s going down in Motown.

  37. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 28, 2011 4:01 PM

    We all knew it would take years to recover from the Matt Millen era.

    The pendulum is swinging positively for the Lions.

    If it is a .500 season it is an improvement and they can get another draft to build on for the future.

    The current Lions story is an encouraging one for all football fans in that with the right leadership you can build a team into a winner.

    The funniest thing is hearing the vikings people being jealous of the Lions.

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