ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions brought in Jim Caldwell to be an agent of change.
The hope is that he will finally be the coach to instill personal accountability into a franchise that has not had enough of it. The hope is that he can turn the Lions into a team that is consistent, confident and successful instead of one known for being unable to deliver in crucial moments.
So finishing -- be it plays or practices or games or seasons -- has become a paramount message over the first few months of Caldwell’s tenure with Detroit.
“Obviously, the number one connotation most people will think is it’s an end-of-the-year kind of a finish but it’s a finish on every single play, everything we do we want to try to make somebody finish,” Caldwell said. “If we do that, that’s the small part of it. The big finish will be taken care of. The guys are doing a good job for the most part.”
The whole concept of finishing has been at the core of some of the Lions’ offseason acquisitions -- from the coaching staff to wide receiver Golden Tate and safety James Ihedigbo, both of whom played on Super Bowl-winning teams.
The Lions brought these players in along with the staff to try and shift the way the Lions have been viewed -- as a team that at best has been close but hardly ever quite good enough. Running back Reggie Bush, another fairly recent acquisition who has a Super Bowl ring, looks at this team and sees players who are willing to win and want to actually be able to finish -- something the Lions couldn’t accomplish last season.
“The most important thing we can do as a team is understand the opportunity that we have here,” Bush said. “This city is hungry for a win, hungry for a championship. That in itself is motivation enough for us to go out and play hard and play for something with passion. Play for the city.
“It’s not going to be easy by any means, but we have the right guys here to do it.”