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Lions president: No time to build to contention

Detroit Lions Introduce Jim Caldwell Getty Images

For a team with one winning season in the last 13, the Lions have lofty aspirations.

And with a trio of stars making most of their money, they know there’s not much time to develop.

When new coach Jim Caldwell declared “the time is now,” to win, he set a bar that management isn’t pulling back from.

It’s a year of let’s go right now,” team president Tom Lewand said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I think you heard Jim say it in his introductory press conference, we heard it in his interviews, you hear it from our players, there’s no five-year plans here.”

Lewand said the roster construction was a big part of the reason they hired Caldwell, known as a steadying influence who can work well with quarterbacks. Given the investment in Matthew Stafford, that was deliberate.

“I think part of it is where we are as a football team, where our players are in their careers, and the type of head coach we brought in,” Lewand said. “We didn’t bring in a head coach this time who’s becoming a head coach for the first time and learning as he goes. There’s no adjustment period for him in terms of being a head coach, there’s no adjustment period for him in terms of the expectations that he had for his staff and how he’s going to build his staff. He knows what he’s looking for.

“He’s been to the Super Bowl as a head coach, he’s been to the Super Bowl twice as a top assistant. So he knows what it is he’s looking for, he knows how he wants to build his football team and wants to do it right now.”

So, there you go Jim. No pressure. Just do what hasn’t been done there ever. No problem.

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19 Responses to “Lions president: No time to build to contention”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 18, 2014 8:58 AM

    Different year and different story about how things are going to be different prior to the revealing that they are not. We had justifications for why Schwartz was the new HC and continued to be the HC every year, and we have explanations and excuses for 100% of all the seasons prior to that too.

    Lewand is still a common denominator in our formula for failure. Get rid of the losers, then you can win.

  2. willnit says: Mar 18, 2014 8:58 AM

    What’s he supposed to say?

  3. mikewhorio says: Mar 18, 2014 9:00 AM

    The Lions have been in rebuilding mode for 60 years…and it won’t be any different this year…

  4. bitw44 says: Mar 18, 2014 9:00 AM

    They really aren’t that far off. If they bolster their secondary and Caldwell can calm Stafford down and fine tune his mechanics, they are a really dangerous team.

  5. dcredz says: Mar 18, 2014 9:06 AM

    … 4-0 in the preseason? Seriously though, win some games.

  6. 700levelvet says: Mar 18, 2014 9:06 AM

    “Head coach Jim Caldwell”…just makes me laugh every time in hear it .

  7. atkinsandgreenreignsupreme says: Mar 18, 2014 9:09 AM

    The Lions will be better and more disciplined in 14′. They remind me of my Bengals… We were down so long all you want to do is win and experience some success… I’m pulling for the Lions and I think they will turn is around.. Good luck!

  8. The Almighty Cabbage says: Mar 18, 2014 9:16 AM

    As a Packer fan, the Lions frighten me much more than the Bears and much, much more than the Vikings. The talent level on that Detroit roster is just ridiculous.

    If Caldwell can do for them what Harbaugh did in San Francisco we could ALL be in trouble. League wide trouble, not just the NFCN.

  9. eaglesw00t says: Mar 18, 2014 9:18 AM

    The Eagles asked less of Chip Kelly and with a lot less talent. He came in and turned them from Andy Reid’s mess into the NFCE champs. Detroit has a ton more talent. They should have high expectations

  10. lionsmark09 says: Mar 18, 2014 9:25 AM

    Gotta love the tenacity but lets see it in action. Everyone knows what is on the line. Too much talent on the team for excuses now.

  11. dtownsportslions says: Mar 18, 2014 9:26 AM

    The Lions are ready for greatness. Hopefully they can grab it.

  12. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 18, 2014 9:27 AM

    The Vikings have finished in last place in three of the last four years.

  13. metrocritical says: Mar 18, 2014 9:34 AM

    The first step towards achieving a goal is to set a goal and so declaring the time is now is a fine first step. The next step is designing a sound, logic based, fact supported blueprint to help get you there and this is where our Lions are once again on the wrong path. Going all in on offense without any FA money allocated to immediately upgrading depth and talent in the secondary, the linebacker corp or at defensive end does not serve the end goal of win now. 2013 crashed in part because of Stafford’s major regression and a thin WR corp but the team wasn’t going to win without pressuring the QB, forcing turnovers and avoiding defensive lapses that repeatedly give up big plays. What exactly did Detroit do to improve one of the most ineffective defenses in the league? Scoring more points is not the sound answer when the goal is to win a Super Bowl.

  14. aldante66 says: Mar 18, 2014 9:45 AM

    The way contracts are now a days you can’t keep a team intact anymore and let them mature over time. The window is too short so you go the free agent route to fill spots of need hoping all the peices fall in place at the same time. Seattle is a great example of that.

    Denver and the Lions are trying to get there also. A couple of free agents to fill the gap with all the playmakers and a good draft and see what happens.

    Ted T and his lets build with 5,6,7 round picks over time will never work. To much turn over from the unproductive guys that you need to always be replacing. You get nowhere.

  15. big64d says: Mar 18, 2014 9:55 AM

    Its not the offense that was the problem. Its the defense that cant stop anyone which makes the offense have to put up crazy yards and high points.

  16. purpleguy says: Mar 18, 2014 1:27 PM

    Caldwell certainly will bring a sense of wide-eyed calmness and a lack of blinking to the Detroit sideline.

  17. bizieman says: Mar 18, 2014 2:21 PM

    this is way to funny. one game at a time, ok buddy.

  18. seaeagle707 says: Mar 18, 2014 3:38 PM

    Please Jim, get it done this year, so that we can win in Arizona in February, and the Ford Family can put the team on the block in March, with a much increased value. Thank you.

  19. ivanpavlov0000 says: Mar 18, 2014 8:17 PM

    Last year the NFC North title was handed to Detroit on a silver platter, but the Lions invented new and exciting ways to blow it. That left a lot of folks pretty angry. This is definitely a win it or else year, even with a new coach.

    But unfortunately, as long as the defensive backfield is a joke the Lions aren’t going anywhere. It would have been nice if they’d gone after an all-pro veteran like Charles Tillman, who could act as a player/coach.

    And I’d rather have sure-handed Knowshon Moreno than butterfingers Reggie Bush.

    It’s sad that the Wayne Fontes era feels like the good ol days. I will never forgive Matt Millen.

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