Playoffs -- Guaranteed?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yahoo! Sports has posted another Lions Team Report this morning, except this team report isn't as detailed as the previous reported posted by them. Instead of looking at the Lions team from various positions, off-season moves, or by new personnel, they talk about how a few past players have stated a "guarantee" when it's come to winning games and/or seasons, the past few years. They start with Kitna's 10-win guarantee, then move on to Roy Williams' guarantee to beat Chicago (where they were promptly blown out). Now, they are opening a new chapter in the Lions book of guarantees; this time it is resting on the shoulders of current RB Kevin Smith and DE Cliff Avril. While Smith did not make a public guarantee of how many games the team would win this season, he did guarantee that they would make the post season! DE Avril wasn't as outspoken as Smith was, but he did say that to win in this league, you've got to have the type of confidence that Smith has. He also mentioned that playoffs are very, very possible this season. The article mentions that while a lot of peoople would argue that point; a surprising majority of his team-mates are backing him up (finally); it seems that things are changing a bit in the locker room, not as many players rallied behind Kitna or Williams during their guarantees. Might this be the beginning of a much needed change to this franchise? Players rallying together to win games, having each other, playing as a team and not for themselves-- IN DETROIT!! That sure would be nice, a change of that nature is much needed in this city and while only time will tell if this transformation is finally starting to take place, hearing about it (at this time of year should provide a boost in confidence). The article also mentions Coach Schwartz's take on the situation:

“I like his enthusiasm,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “I don’t want to discourage enthusiasm, but the playoffs are a long way away. What’s more important is what happens today, how we practice today. Those are the things that we need to take care of on a daily basis and that’s been the message. We need to set goals on a shorter scale than further on down the line. We don’t want to talk about Super Bowls or playoffs or those kinds of things or even the opener right now.”
While coach Schwartz knows that the franchise needs to learn how to crawl before walking, and how to walk before running, he too isexcited to see some enthusiasm and emotion out of some of his players. And the fact that the team seems to be jelling at this point during the off season should help him sleep better at night as well. After all, inheriting an 0-16 team that has been mismanaged for almost a decade is an uphill climb, but Schwartz knew that coming in, and for him to see and hear this type of enthusiasm from him his squad has to take a little weight off of his shoulders.