By Ashley Scoby
Jim Caldwell, in one of his liveliest press conferences all year amidst a 1-7 season, said the Detroit sports media is the most negative he has ever been around.READ MORE: Here's Where You Can Get A Free Slice Of 'Pepsi-Roni' Pizza In Metro Detroit This Friday
“There’s no question,” he said. “It’s a fact.”
The answer stemmed from a question about the culture surrounding the Lions, and whether negativity tends to “snowball” in that kind of environment. The Lions have won one playoff game since 1957 and have never been to a Super Bowl.
“Negativity has always been here from you all’s standpoint,” Caldwell said. “From the media, I think that’s always been a part of this. It’s the first thing that I think you notice here. I think I called it the dungeon of doom, when I walk into that (interview) room sometimes. So that hasn’t changed.”READ MORE: Michigan Among Five Secretary Of State Races To Watch, Starting Tuesday
Caldwell stressed that that criticism and negativity don’t affect the team. Last year, the Lions went 11-5 and made the playoffs, but have monumentally skidded this year.
“You’ve got your opinion and I’ve got mine,” he said. “I have my expertise and you have yours, right? I think the discussion is healthy and it’s good. You stir up the fanbase because they have an interest in and a passion for it, which is good. The negativity part of it – we control that atmosphere; if we allow it in, that’s our problem.”
The Lions’ failures this season came to a dramatic peak (valley?) in London last week, with a 45-10 loss to Kansas City. The offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL, Matthew Stafford can’t stay upright, the defense has plummeted down the rankings after Ndamukong Suh left, and the team is in the bottom half of the NFL in most offensive and defensive categories.
That the team practiced in logo-less helmets Tuesday (with their normal ones still being shipped back from London) was symbolic in some ways. It’s a team that has lost its identity and is simply a floundering franchise hoping for the end to come quickly.MORE NEWS: Pope Offers Solidarity To Gaylord, Michigan, After Tornado
On the positive side, Ezekiel Ansah has performed well on the defensive line this season (25 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles), rookie Ameer Abdullah has shown flashes of productivity, and Detroit has a 1-0 record in overtime this season.