LIONS INSIDER

Lions hoping Caldwell's Super Bowl experience pays off

Posted Jul 30, 2014

Jim Caldwell knows what it takes to be a Super Bowl contending team. That fact hasn’t been lost on veteran players like Matthew Stafford.

Two things the Lions really liked about Jim Caldwell during the interview process was the fact that he had experience working with quarterbacks and he’s won a Super Bowl.

The latter is of particular importance to this current batch of Lions players. Caldwell knows what it takes to be a Super Bowl contending team. He knows what the preparation looks like and how that translates to the practice field. That fact hasn’t been lost on veteran players like Matthew Stafford.

“A lot of the coaches on our coaching staff (have won a Super Bowl) and players we brought in (via free agency),” Stafford said.

“Just talking with those guys and being able to pick their brain and talk to them about what it took and just having those guys around the building means a lot to us and we can all learn from it. That’s something we haven’t had in the past and something that’s fun for us as players.”

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi won a ring with New Orleans and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin won one in Baltimore.

Joe LombardiOffensive coordinator Joe Lombardi (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Assistant coaches Bill Sheridan (linebackers), Tony Oden (secondary/cornerbacks), Alan Williams (secondary/safeties) and Matt Raich (quality control) all have rings from previous coaching stops.

The two big free agents the team signed in the offseason -- receiver Golden Tate and safety James Ihedigbo -- have each won a Super Bowl title.

“We have players that have experience, that have been to Super Bowls, have won Super Bowls and understand what it takes to get to that next step,” veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch said.

“I think bringing in Coach Caldwell helps us achieve and see things from a different view. Players are excited about the future here and what we have in front of us. There’s a lot of ability in front of us. There’s a lot of ability in this locker room, probably the most that I’ve ever been around in my career, top to bottom. The time is now for us.”

The Lions have had talented rosters the last few seasons, but they had no clue what it took to win and win consistently enough to be a playoff-caliber team.

This coaching staff has worked hard to change that culture the last eight months and that’s been just as important as the implementation of their schemes, maybe even more so.

“With the collection of talent in the room, the collection of coaches on the staff, the attitude of the building, the culture of the building, what it is right now, what it went through in the offseason, this is the best chance since I’ve been here, which is through five head coaches, to win right now,” center Dominic Raiola said.