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There was no shortage of optimism at Detroit's practice facility following a strong offseason program and a 4-0 preseason. Some players and coaches believed the franchise had turned the corner. Then, 0-16 happened.
Lions linebacker Ernie Sims, for one, has learned his lesson. Speaking to Detroit-area reporters, Sims wouldn't agree that there should be cautious optimism about the 2009 team:
"Naw, I'm not cautious because that's what it is. I'm being real. It might look good on paper right now and it might look good because they're running good in offseason training, but it really matters when it's Sunday and the lights are on and it's game time."
(Quote courtesy Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.)
Sims said he has spent the past 2 1/2 months mostly in isolation to put last season behind him:
"I went home and went into the country and didn't come out and didn't talk to nobody. And now I'm back. I went into the country, into the woods. I disappeared. I went fishing and caught me a 10-pound bass. I did all kinds of stuff. I just got away, relaxed and let my body heal up."
Sims is a pretty quiet guy and mostly keeps to himself. But from this vantage point, it seems he has the right kind of personality to navigate the Lions' rebuilding project.
Continuing around the NFC North a bit later than normal on this Friday morning: