Lions' Jim Caldwell sounds a lot like Schwartz: Hope not a strategy
Just which Jim was at the podium in Allen Park on Monday? For a brief moment, one spouted off a familiar cliche
Could Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell be the new Jim Schwartz?
Caldwell might not have realized it, but Monday he invoked a phrase made famous by his doomed predecessor when he was asked what gave him hope his team could beat the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday (8:15 p.m., NBC).
“Well,” Caldwell said, “hope is not a strategy, you know."
Schwartz, who coached the Lions in 2009-13, often would answer questions about hopefulness by saying, “Hope isn’t a very good strategy.”
He even trotted it out again this season as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator.
Caldwell and Schwartz have few similarities otherwise. Schwartz was brash and emotional and had a hard time keeping his players in line.
Caldwell is a stoic veteran who has instilled discipline in his players.
Caldwell did expand on his initial answer about what might have given him encouragement to beat the Seahawks.
“What we do is, we look at what we can do best against these guys and put it together and go after it,” he said. “Anytime that you have an opportunity to play in the playoffs, just look at the history. There’s teams that you can rattle off: Giants. You can rattle off a number of different teams that have gone in and perhaps not had the best regular season that they’d like, but ended up getting themselves in position to really be a factor in the playoffs, so we’re not limited to it.
“It’s just a mind-set for the most part and what we want to do is you’ve got to shake this thing off rather quickly and you’ve got to go after it. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to preach to the guys. It’s a huge quantum shift mentally and, you know, we’ve got to play like we’re capable of playing.”
Caldwell's team is mired in a three-game losing streak that sent the Lions tumbling from the No. 2 seed to nearly missing the playoffs and losing a division title game at home. It's similar to the nose dive that Schwartz's Lions team did in 2013 when he was fired after four straight losses to end the season.