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James Ihedigbo: Lions have “that championship DNA”

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Safety James Ihedigbo likes what he’s seen since joining the Lions as a free agent this offseason.

Ihedigbo is brimming with optimism about what his new team is capable of doing a year after crumbling down the strech on their way to a 7-9 season. A failure to close up a playoff spot that was theirs for the taking could cause some to question whether the Lions have the right makeup to make the playoffs, but Ihedigbo is confident that the pieces are in place for a deep playoff run in Detroit.

“It’s one of those things, you can feel it,” Ihedigbo said, via “With this team, I can feel the makings of a championship-DNA team. Are we willing to sacrifice? That’s the question, and I know we are. There are guys in this locker room that are willing to pay the price, whatever it is, to put the work in to be a champion. Yeah, we definitely have that championship DNA.”

Ihedigbo won a Super Bowl with the Ravens two years ago and he also has playoff experience with the Patriots, so there’s some experience when it comes to what it feels like to be a winner. He credits head coach Jim Caldwell with moving the team in the right direction, as did running back Reggie Bush, and there were other offseason moves that provide reason to think the Lions can contend for the playoffs.

Whether that makes this more than the sunny hopefulness of the offseason remains to be seen, especially since Lions fans have heard similar things plenty of times in the past without seeing a big payoff.

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70 Responses to “James Ihedigbo: Lions have “that championship DNA””
  1. bucsorbust says: Jul 4, 2014 3:38 PM

    Yeah, so did Forrest, Forrest Gump.

  2. oldcracker says: Jul 4, 2014 3:40 PM

    In the Off-Season, every team is undefeated, even my Browns.

  3. ccc23454 says: Jul 4, 2014 3:41 PM

    for a franchise to have “championship DNA” wouldn’t they have had to win several ready?

  4. johnnycash19 says: Jul 4, 2014 3:42 PM

    Say that in February, not in July

  5. themackstrong says: Jul 4, 2014 3:44 PM

    Can Matt Stafford still shut down player’s only meetings when he’s not playing well?

  6. polegojim says: Jul 4, 2014 3:46 PM

    Believing is good… But proving is great!

    Make it so on the field boys.

    Go Lions!

  7. doctorrustbelt says: Jul 4, 2014 3:47 PM

    Still a bit thin at the receiver position.

    A healthy Ryan Broyles helps… but… they still need more options.

  8. staffordcalvinbush says: Jul 4, 2014 3:50 PM

    If we’ve won a championship in the past 50 years this would be more believable.
    Show them we’re capable of winning during the season, not during July!

  9. ivanpavlov0000 says: Jul 4, 2014 3:53 PM

    In July, everyone’s winning the Super Bowl. Love the enthusiasm and believing … but Lions fans have heard a *lot* of talk over the years.

    Make it happen!

  10. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 4, 2014 3:58 PM

    Not with you on the team they don’t.

  11. jmag420 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:02 PM

    Just stop. You sound foolish.

  12. thevikesarebest says: Jul 4, 2014 4:04 PM

    That’s laughable.

  13. staffordsyear says: Jul 4, 2014 4:05 PM

    Hes right.

  14. bullcharger says: Jul 4, 2014 4:05 PM

    Ihedigbo is a role player. Not sure how much he contributes to a winning team, but he certainly has been around some teams that have gone deep in the playoffs and he’s won a Super Bowl, so maybe he does know what he’s talking about.

    I think the Lion’s problem is Stafford more than anything. He looks good to watch because he has a big arm and he makes some big plays to Megatron here or there, but he really is terrible.

    73 picks in his 4 years of actually playing and only one year above 60% in completion percentage. That didn’t equate to many Ws. Not good. If Detroit had a great QB they would have been competing for the last few Super Bowls.

  15. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 4, 2014 4:07 PM

    I demand a new DNA test.

  16. tinbender2000 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:12 PM

    thevikesarebest says: Jul 4, 2014 4:04 PM

    That’s laughable.
    I would listen to this guy, he’s an expert on laughable.

  17. psly2124 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:14 PM

    Detroilet will not win and are not a championship teams. New rule players that say they are a championship team and fail to make the playoffs, will be fined however many game checks they fail to miss the playoffs by. That should shut up dumb comments pretty quick

  18. skolnolombardilovers says: Jul 4, 2014 4:25 PM

    Besides the Packers I thought The Vikings had the most players with Packer Franchise DNA

  19. tvguy22 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:25 PM


    Did that QB turn his hat around yet?


  20. canetic says: Jul 4, 2014 4:27 PM

    The prosecution had OJ’s DNA all over the place. They didn’t win either.

  21. moeman79 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:28 PM

    Every team is ready to be super bowl champs in july.

  22. ausernamethatisavailable says: Jul 4, 2014 4:40 PM

    Someone has already had a few pops in celebration of the 4th. Not hating, I have Had a few myself.

  23. joker65 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:42 PM


  24. yooperman says: Jul 4, 2014 4:46 PM

    That’s preseason championship DNA he feels.

  25. jimr10 says: Jul 4, 2014 4:56 PM

    You do realize who your coach is

  26. vickspuppy says: Jul 4, 2014 5:14 PM

    Detroit Lions players seem to be as delusional as Minnesota Viking fans.

  27. packmanfan says: Jul 4, 2014 5:30 PM

    Good luck getting past the Packers.
    Your’e gonna need it.

  28. packmanfan says: Jul 4, 2014 5:31 PM

    That is just for the team.
    I take it that he hasn’t seen any of Detroit yet.

  29. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 4, 2014 5:38 PM

    “Well they do have the smartest head coach in football. At least he is smarter than me.”

    B. Obama

  30. tushymcspankspank says: Jul 4, 2014 5:57 PM

    James Ihedigbo has that delusional DNA

  31. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 4, 2014 5:59 PM

    So what exactly are these players that are “paying the price” specifically doing that is so great? And he didn’t say all, so I assume in comparison there are a few who are not doing that but that’s not enough to take away from the team having a significant amount of championship DNA? I’d really like for him to elaborate on what he is seeing specifically that prompted these comments and to elaborate on the code of championship DNA. None of what he says here is helping me to see the picture he is seeing.

  32. rohlo says: Jul 4, 2014 6:04 PM

    who is james ihedigbo????? neer heard is name called once for the ravens when he was there.. lmao a 3rd string player proclaiming a team has championship dna… you have to be from that dna to even have it! i have been right on with the lions last few years..thought they would be good few years ago and predicted they would stumble last couple years becasue i didnt like schwartz..i think thye will be better this year,but to say championship to me is just a backup player tryign to give the team the motivation and confiedence is all i see here… 3 good teams i nthe nfc north this year minus the the 3 good ones in nfc west and the nfc south will be good too as i predict tampa bay to be playoff contender as well.. gonna be tough i nthe nfc this year to make a playoff spot.

  33. ravens2xworldchamps says: Jul 4, 2014 6:07 PM

    More like 0-16 DNA


  34. bonecrushinghits says: Jul 4, 2014 6:08 PM

    Will whatever he is smoking come up as a banned substance?

  35. chinahand11 says: Jul 4, 2014 6:10 PM

    Please don’t drag politics onto the message boards. Any side. Please, just please do not. It’s sports and witty remarks.

  36. saints12013 says: Jul 4, 2014 6:19 PM

    I mean, I like what the Lions are doing on offense cause they remind me a little of the Saints, but you gotta get playoff DNA first, then comes the championship part.

  37. itscompton says: Jul 4, 2014 6:21 PM

    Oh yeah they sure do, it’s just those genes are recessive and the ones for choking are what wind up getting expressed.

  38. tedmurph says: Jul 4, 2014 6:25 PM

    Championship DNA is exactly what they don’t have. That roster has never played up to it’s potential or talent level in the last 5yrs at least. Better coaching, an infusion of a winning attitude and a heart transplant is what that team needs.

  39. tothefellowshipofthemiserable says: Jul 4, 2014 6:29 PM

    Somebody should call The Maury Povich show.

  40. chinahand11 says: Jul 4, 2014 6:32 PM

    The choke gene is dominant? Hmm. I heard they had (ahem) medication to bring out more of the championship gene. They need that, I think.

  41. myhawks1976 says: Jul 4, 2014 6:36 PM

    So when he was asked how this team compares to the Pats and Ravens I suppose you all wanted and expected him to say:

    “Well, we ain’t close. They got better qb’s, coaches and skill players. Honestly, I’m here for the money. I wouldn’t have bothered showing for OTA’s but my money was attached. We’ll be lucky to see 8 wins with some lucky bounces”

    Seriously people? He didn’t guarantee anything. Didn’t promise anything.

    Whole lot of nothing here.

  42. billybone says: Jul 4, 2014 6:52 PM

    Dang, sure is a lot of hating. So if a player from your squad said the same thing, all you haters would criticize the same? Also, ask yourself with pure honesty if you would say the same thing you post anonymously to the mans face?

    Detroit has the talent but lacked discipline from their previous coach. Caldwell is good people but maybe too much the complete opposite of Shwartz. If the Lions can stop beating them selfs, then they got just as much of a shot as anybody else besides the obvious bottom dwellers (Vikings, Raiders, etc.).

  43. lionsnati0n says: Jul 4, 2014 6:57 PM

    Losing Nate Burleson last year was big. Once again Stafford had to go to Megatron a lot. Now with the addition of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron there’s now plenty of weapons which also gives us good depth should a player go down. Our rookie class from last year mostly Ansah should be ready to go in there second year, especially drafting his boy Van-Noy who together they tore it up right next to each other at BYU. I expect a great season. Not to mention possibly the best DT combo in the league Fairley and Suh in contract years are going to play there hearts out.

  44. johngaltwho says: Jul 4, 2014 6:59 PM

    Championship DNA – except for that lethal mutation where a stop codon was inserted somewhere in the #9 chromosome. This results in Stafford Syndrome, a very sad disease associated with complete metabolic breakdown under any kind of stress.

  45. abninf says: Jul 4, 2014 7:12 PM

    The last time the Lions won any kind of championship, Eisenhower started his second term and Elvis released Jailhouse Rock.

  46. lionsnati0n says: Jul 4, 2014 8:34 PM

    We have a collection of high picks including Stafford, Calvin, Suh, Pettigrew, Fairley, Ebron, Ansaw I’m pretty sure Golden Tate out of Notre Dame was a first round pick our core is so good and the role players around it like Bush, Bell, Levy, Glover, not to mention the offensive line which has been so great becoming solid with Warford who if they knew would’ve been pick really high. With the new coaches and everyone with some experience I look at the Packers and Bears and I think of ductape. We are ready to take over the North.

  47. getyourownname says: Jul 4, 2014 8:44 PM

    Baltimore still appreciates you James, but you won’t be able to see any DNA until the games begin.

  48. bigbamboom1 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:06 PM

    He was misquoted. When the press claimed he said “Lions have “that championship DNA”. He claims he really said “Lions have “that championship on the horizon AND much hope in the future”.

  49. iamdinguskhan says: Jul 4, 2014 9:15 PM

    Think of Packers and Bears you think of duct tape? At least they have Rings and seem to consistently make playoffs. Maybe you Lions can borrow some of that “duct tape”. When I think of Lions I think no rings.

  50. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 4, 2014 9:15 PM

    The Lions have won four World Championships.

    That puts them ahead of the Patriots, Raiders, Rams, and Eagles.

    Only franchises that have won more have any right scoff at the Lions. Certainly not viking followers who have never won a World Championship.

    Unfortunately for the Lions they play in a division that has combined for 26 World Championships which makes it tough to win.

  51. zinger92 says: Jul 4, 2014 9:55 PM

    Didn’t they JUST get a new coach? Wow.

  52. tigersfandan says: Jul 4, 2014 10:31 PM

    ccc23454 says:
    Jul 4, 2014 3:41 PM
    for a franchise to have “championship DNA” wouldn’t they have had to win several ready?

    They have won 4 NFL championships. Granted, they all happened decades ago, but you should still get your facts straight.

  53. nosleeptilsb says: Jul 4, 2014 10:52 PM

    If DNA stands for – Does Not Achieve, then yes, we crown you the undisputed champs in that world.

  54. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 4, 2014 10:52 PM

    this was a funny one

  55. thefiesty1 says: Jul 4, 2014 11:19 PM


  56. axespray says: Jul 5, 2014 12:28 AM

    I look at the Packers and Bears and I think of ductape. We are ready to take over the North.
    Duct Tape were both wiped out with injuries last year – while the Lions were among the healthiest teams last year…. and still choked away the division.

    A healthy Rodgers and Cutler make the lions as irrelevant as the Raiders.

  57. ariani1985 says: Jul 5, 2014 12:37 AM

    Lions and winning equals oil and water!

  58. councilofargos says: Jul 5, 2014 2:47 AM

    He’s a good hitter, hes injured a lot of Patriots in games not with dirty hits but with clean hits. I would like to see detriot do more where there D either in free agency or the the draft, but their offense is very good.

  59. glaedrfly says: Jul 5, 2014 2:59 AM

    Cursed by the Edsel.

  60. dino2997 says: Jul 5, 2014 3:59 AM

    Offensively the Lions are behind the Packers and Bears. Defensively they are also behind the Packers and Bears (That’s awfully difficult). So take a guess where the Lions will finish in the division?

  61. whatjusthapped says: Jul 5, 2014 6:04 AM

    I used to think the Lions and the Vikings had one thing in common, they never won a Superbowl.

    Now I realize they have two, never won a Superbowl and they are completely delusional in thinking that this is the year.

  62. RegisHawk says: Jul 5, 2014 7:40 AM

    I suspect he means he has a distant ancestor who was in a Championship game once.

  63. easyeddie says: Jul 5, 2014 8:19 AM

    What the heck do you expect him to say?

  64. sportsfan18 says: Jul 5, 2014 9:46 AM

    Quick… give this man a drug test…

  65. aldante66 says: Jul 5, 2014 9:50 AM

    So. Hold on here. I put an additional 25 year curse on this team besides the 50 it already had so unless someone knows something, this team is not winning any super bowls. I will give them a playoff chance 8f Sun decides tomp8t out more than a 65% effort.

  66. isphet71 says: Jul 5, 2014 10:16 AM

    Man, I hope he’s right. Been watching the Lions for 40 years and all I’ve seen is one playoff win. Long overdue.

  67. wearesc13 says: Jul 5, 2014 12:54 PM

    He said this after how many shots?

  68. khmer379 says: Jul 5, 2014 1:00 PM

    Might wanna get to the Super Bowl first Buddy

  69. packergator says: Jul 7, 2014 1:59 PM

    This after the Lions blew their lead in the weak NFC North last fall.

  70. twelsh36446 says: Jul 9, 2014 9:40 AM

    Most negative comments I’ve ever heard. Why do the trolls always show up on this forum?

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