Schwartz: Fans are "guardedly optimistic"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lions Coach Jim Schwartz knows true Lions fans have put their heart into the team time and again, only to have it trampled. Cynicism reached a new level in last year's 0-16 debacle, though the firing of Matt Millen stopped up the dam break to some extent.

Schwartz, hired in the offseason, understands what fans have endured, Tom Kowalski reports at

"It's been extremely encouraging from the standpoint - we talk about the players and being able to put it behind them - and I feel the same thing about the fans. The fans are excited, everybody's excited at this time of the year across the league. But I think here in Detroit they're even more excited. They see the new players, they see a little different philosophy and they're hungry for it.

"We're coming off the Red Wings and the Stanley Cup Finals, a Game 7, and they're hungry for that kind of excitement and we have a responsibility to give it to them.''

Schwartz was asked if some fans are angry.

"It's hard to be angry at me," Schwartz said. "So I generally don't get that that. I don't know the best way to put it ... they're guardedly optimistic. I think when you put yourself out there, the way you do when you're a fan, and when you expose your soul to rooting for your team and you get hurt time and time again, sometimes you have a tendency to hold back and not put yourself out as much.

"I think the one thing is that they keep stepping up and they're true football fans in this city and they're excited about it. Everywhere I go, I get positive feelings from the fans."

Does excited or guardedly optimistic accurately describe you heading into '09? Discuss in The Den!